Nets Rip Thunder In First Trip To OKC
The Thunder might need to change the way they celebrate the New Year.
Oklahoma City dropped a sloppy 110-93 game to the Brooklyn Nets Wednesday night, marking the eighth straight season the Thunder has lost on its first game of the New Year, dating back to the franchise's Seattle days in 2005.
The first half was disastrous for OKC. Brooklyn shot 64 percent in the first quarter to build a 33-19 lead. It was the most points the Thunder had allowed in the first quarter all season, but things got worse before they got better.
The Nets' came out blazing in the second quarter as well, growing their lead to as many as 23 when Joe Johnson buried a corner-three with 3:40 left before the half.
While the box score will show the Thunder's comeback began in the second half, it was the way they ended the first that gave them a chance to get back in the game. The Thunder ended the period on a 13-6 run to come within 61-45 at the break. Brooklyn built the lead behind a collective 7-11 from behind the arc and was led by Joe Johnson's 20 points.
The Thunder re-grouped at the break and came out with a different attitude in the third, while Brooklyn's hot shooting went cold fast.
OKC used a 27-15 third quarter to get within four points heading to the final stanza. Russell Westbrook scored 11 of his 26 points in the third, while Kevin Durant added nine of his 27.
The Thunder continued its comeback early in the fourth, and when Kevin Martin drained a 3-ball to tie the game at 85-85 with 7:11 left to play, it sure had the feeling that OKC was ready to take over.
Brooklyn had other ideas.
The Nets finished the game the same way they started it: dominating fashion. Brooklyn exploded on a 25-8 run to finish the game, sending the sold-out Chesapeake Arena crowd to the exits early.
Former Thunder coach P.J. Carlesimo coached his fourth game as the head-man of the Nets, improving his record to 3-1. Carlesimo took over when Avery Johnson was fired on Dec. 27.
In addition to Johnson's big day, Brooklyn got a large contribution from Brook Lopez (25 points) and Deron Williams (19 points).
Serge Ibaka chipped in 14 points for OKC while Kevin Martin scored 11 off the Thunder bench.
Brooklyn's late run clearly infuriated the Thunder players and fans. Durant was ejected with 1:57 remaining for arguing while the remaining fans rained boos down upon the officials.
The loss drops the Thunder to 24-7 on the season, while Brooklyn improves to 17-15. Next up for OKC is a home date with Philadelphia Friday night at 7:00 p.m.