It was an electric fourth quarter, as the Oklahoma City Thunder stormed back from being down double digits, to win the game versus the Brooklyn Nets 109-108. Thunder were ignited by Raymond Felton, who started the fourth quarter on fire, scoring 10 straight points after Oklahoma City was cold offensively for most of the night. The Thunder have now won five in a row, the NBA’s current longest winning streak. Oklahoma City is now also 27-20 on the year.
It was looking like another game where Oklahoma City was going to lose to another lesser squad, as the Thunder could not get anything to fall offensively. Even though they put up 30 first quarter points, nobody outside of Paul George could find a rhythm.
George single-handedly kept the Thunder alive in the first half, racking up 16 first quarter points, and had a total of 18 at halftime, on 50 percent shooting from the floor.
The Brooklyn Nets were on fire from deep for most of the night, hitting 16 total three-pointers. Joe Harris led the way, as he hit all five of his three-point attempts off the bench.
For Oklahoma City, it was quite the opposite as they could not hit anything from deep, until the fourth quarter. Heading into the final period, the Thunder had hit just two from deep, on 15 attempts. For the most part, they were all good looks that just refused to go in.
That changed in the fourth quarter, as they hit five threes, two of those coming from Felton to begin that final quarter. If not for the hot start by Raymond, Oklahoma City is probably putting another game in the loss column. After Felton got it going, Oklahoma City fed off of that which ignited a huge run.
The Thunder put up 35 points in the final frame, while holding Brooklyn to just 23 points. It was a quarter that made up for a lot of bad play from Oklahoma City in the first three quarters.
Even with the massive fourth quarter from the Thunder, it was still a nail-biter till the very end. For much of the last six minutes, it was back and forth buckets from each team.
After Spencer Dinwiddie hit a layup with just seven second left, it seemed it was going to be another special game for a guy in Dinwiddie who has hit quite a few big shots this year.
But, then Russell Westbrook happened. On the ensuing possession, Westbrook went straight to the rim and immediately regained the lead for Oklahoma City with just three seconds left. It was key defense by Roberson on Dinwiddie that finally sealed the win.
“I really thought this is one of the best wins we have had all year,” Billy Donovan said.
“Our guys just kept fighting and battling all the way through,” Donovan continued, “I thought our guys gave incredible effort.”
As for the big three, Paul George and Russell Westbrook led the way. They both ended up with big scoring nights, combining for 60 points.
George did most of his scoring in the first half, 18 of his 28 points coming in the first 24 minutes. Westbrook was a monster in the second half, including hitting the game-winning layup, but also putting up 20 second half points, ten of those in the fourth quarter.
Carmelo attempted just 12 shots, but had some very key buckets late in the game. Adams also didn’t put up many points but his rebounding was huge. He grabbed 14 total rebounds, nine of those being offensive rebounds.
Even though the Nets aren’t a great team record-wise, this win for Oklahoma City is big, as they have struggled against lesser teams this season. This is another speed bump they have now gotten over, as they continue to get better and better as we are inching closer to the All-Star break.
Oklahoma City now has three games separating them from now to Monday, all coming against Eastern Conference teams who are all playoff contenders. The Thunder could get their winning streak to eight, if they keep playing the way they have been in the past five contests.
Keys to the game:
Third quarter: C
The Thunder definitely made a run in the third, after being double digits at halftime. They also let the Nets answer that run, and Brooklyn got their lead back to double digits heading into the fourth quarter.
Defend the three: D
Brooklyn loves to shoot the three, and tonight we saw why. They were on fire from deep, and made Oklahoma City pay over and over again. The Nets made 16 total three-pointers, but Oklahoma City did do a better job of defending the perimeter in the final quarter.
Steven Adams continues to dominate this part of the game, no matter the opponent. Oklahoma City out-rebounded Brooklyn by five, and pulled down 16 total offensive boards compared to just eight for the Nets. Rebounding continues to be a huge factor in Oklahoma City’s wins and their losses, as well.We invite you to follow Thunder Digest on Twitter and like Thunder Digest on Facebook. Don't forget to subsribe on Youtube! Our Podcast is on iTunes and on Stitcher. We also have a Thunder Digest Instagram account if you love fun Thunder photography!