The Oklahoma City Thunder traveled to Mexico City to take on the Brooklyn Nets on Thursday night. The offensive struggles, the disinterest in playing sub .500 teams, and mishaps on the defensive end returned for the Thunder as they dropped tonight's contest 100-95. The loss snapped their three game winning streak.
The Thunder were less than 100% tonight, as they were without Paul George and Jerami Grant due to injuries.
The same story came back around for the Thunder. OKC came out strong, clicking on all cylinders out of the gate. Westbrook pushed the pace and continued to get the ball in the paint where Adams was efficient. The paint touches opened up threes for Alex Abrines and Patrick Patterson. They went on an 11-3 run to take a double digit lead capped by a three from Kyle Singler (yes, you read that right) and a pull-up jumper from Terrance Ferguson. The Thunder led 33-20 after the first quarter.
After building the lead to 40-25 early in the 2nd, the Thunder's defensive intensity dropped significantly and the Nets began to chip away at the lead. The Thunder offense still performed at a high level and the game quickly turned into a back and forth shootout for the remainder of the second frame. The Nets scored 29 points in the second quarter, but the Thunder led 58-49 at the half.
In the 2nd half, the Thunder offense took a hit as shots stopped falling. In the first minute of the 2nd half, the Thunder gave up two layups to DeMarre Carroll and Tyler Zeller. The Nets quickly trimmed the lead down to five, and just like that, the Thunder were in a dogfight. After a three from Quincy Acy, the Nets had their first lead at 68-67. Westbrook answered with a three that gave the Thunder lead right back. Raymond Felton led a 8-0 run that pushed the Thunder lead to 79-71. The Thunder led 79-74 after three.
Instead of the Thunder picking up the defensive intensity into the 4th quarter, they continued to give up layups and shots in the paint. The Nets would pick OKC apart from beyond the arc in the 4th. The Thunder led 85-84 when the Nets made three straight triples from Crabbe, Hollis-Jefferson, and Spencer Dinwiddie to make the score 93-85. The Thunder would never recover from the three-point onslaught and it eventually led to their demise.
The Thunder shot a poor 38% from the floor and just 7 for 29 from the three point line. OKC won the rebound battle, tied in points in the paint, and forced Brooklyn to 16 turnovers, yet still came up short on the scoreboard. They also did not help themselves from the free throw line, hitting only 12 out of 23 on the night.
Westbrook had an inefficient 31 points on 10-of-27 shooting, 8 rebounds, and 6 assists. Melo pitched in 11 points and Adams contributed 12 points and 14 rebounds.
Caris Levert led the Nets with 21 points off the bench. Rondae Hollis-Jefferson pitched in 17 points and Allen Crabbe scored 15.
The Thunder will look to bounce back on Saturday night on the road against the Memphis Grizzlies.