Winners of four straight, the Oklahoma City Thunder lose a game for the first time in nearly two weeks as the Brooklyn Nets defeated them, 120-96.
Despite taking eight fewer shots than the Thunder, the Nets were able to blow this game open in the fourth quarter in an attack from three that was led by Patty Mills, who finished with 29 points that included going 9-of-12 from three.
“It’s just one of those nights. This team is so good at competing and responding. We just couldn’t get the fire lit tonight,” said Thunder Head Coach Mark Daigneault after the game.
The final score does not do the game justice as the Thunder were able to keep it within reach for most of the night, but ultimately, the Nets ungodly talent was just too much to overcome.
The good news is that Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Lu Dort were able to get theirs on the offensive side. SGA finished with 23 points and Dort finished with 20 points and now extends his 20+ point-scoring streak to three games — the longest of his career.
SGA is SGA, we’re reaching a point where scoring an efficient 20+ points is just another day at the office, which should excite Thunder fans. But Dort turning into a legit scoring threat not only unlocks a new level of potential, but it also unlocks a brighter forecast for OKC’s future if they lucked their way into a legit two-way starter.
The Thunder also did a nice collective job at giving James Harden trouble, as he finished with just 16 points. The team also limited his chances at drawing fouls and going to the line as he went just 5-of-5 from the free-throw stripe.
Harden is one of the greatest scorers of all time and has turned his season around in recent games. It was nice to see that the Thunder’s youth was able to contain him and keep his scoring relatively quiet for the night. Even if the Nets didn’t fully need him to go off against a rebuilding Thunder team.
The Thunder’s comeback magic ran out tonight as they fell behind double digits but weren’t able to overcome the deficit. The team now sits at 5-7 with a quick turnaround as the Miami Heat comes to town tomorrow night.
Man, Kevin Durant is so good. Dude scored an effortless 33 points on 17 shots. He was able to get whatever he wanted all night long with the beauty of a stroke. I think it’s time to replace Dominique Wilkins with KD as the poster child for players to make a full return from an Achilles tear.
When matched up against him, I thought Jeremiah Robinson-Earl did a nice job on Harden. There were some questionable non-calls as it looked like JRE didn’t give Harden a chance to land, but it seems like the league is steering away from giving guys those calls this season.
Daigneault was very animated in the first half with the referees. I know it really shouldn’t matter when it comes to judging coaches, but I love that he’s more willing to show his emotions on his sleeve than his predecessors did.
Aaron Wiggins made his NBA debut tonight and finished with three points, four rebounds and four assists in 21 minutes. When asked his thoughts on his NBA debut, he said that he was nervous at first but cooled down as the day progressed.
When asked what his thoughts were about being on the same court as guys like KD & Harden, Wiggins played it cool and said that they tie their shoes the same way he does.
It was funny to see KD and Harden get booed all game long while Blake Griffin got cheered. Just goes to show that people don’t forget.