• Tue. Jun 18th, 2024

Thunder 110 Nets 99

Thunder Storm.

After getting revenge on the Boston Celtics on Sunday, the Nets headed out to Oklahoma City to face the Thunder and their dynamic duo of Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook. The Nets were hoping to get a win against a team that they have had some success against. They won three of the previous meetings with the Thunder with all three games being very close.

The Nets started out very aggressively on both ends of the court. Thaddeus Young and Rondae Hollis-Jefferson both seemed to have their hands in quite a few plays for the visiting Nets. They were in the passing lanes and were aggressive on defense and in transition. Brook Lopez, however, led the Nets in the first quarter with 10 points. The Nets had an eight-point lead toward the end of the period; however, the Thunder, led by their all-stars, went on a 10-0 run to pull within one at then end of the first. This would be a theme throughout the game.

The Nets got some valuable minutes off the bench from Shane Larkin and Andrea Bargnani. Bargnani had a huge second quarter as he used his size advantage and agility to tally 11 points in the period. His production helped the Nets to stay close to the Thunder while the Nets starters rested. He finished the game with 13 points while Larkin added 10points off the bench.

 

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Joe Johnson continues to struggle. Photo Kevin C. Cox/ Getty Images

 

Thaddeus Young was his usual busy self on the court tonight. He scored 18points, grabbed 8 rebounds, dished out 3 assists and had 3 steals. Missing however was Joe Johnson who just continues to struggle offensively for the Nets. He is averaging career lows in almost all of his statistical categories. Johnson went 2-11 and only managed to score 5 points. He did not score his first field goal until 9:16 left in the 3rd quarter. The Nets could have used his offensive punch in this game. Brook had 26 points; however, he shot poorly form the field as he and Johnson combined for 13-33 from the floor.

The game was competitive throughout. It was a game of runs and both the Nets and the Thunder had several big runs as they tried to gain control of the game. The biggest and most crucial run of the game was in the fourth quarter. The Nets began the period with a 9-0 run to tie the game at 85 apiece. The Thunder were without Westbrook and Durant at this time; however, when they re-entered the game near the 9:06 mark they blew the game wide open and out of reach for the Brooklyn squad. The Thunder hit 3 straight 3-point attempts and out-scored  the Nets 25-14 for the remainder of the game. In fact, scoring from behind the arc was an important factor of the game. The Thunder hit ten 3-pointers while the Nets went 3-13. Kevin Durant finished with 30 points while Westbrook added 27 points for the home team.

westbrook and brook
Russel Westbrook dunking over Brook Lopez in the 3rd period. Photo AP Sue Ogrocki

 

The Nets have seen this trend continue to play out  over the course of the early season. They play well and are competitive with teams but then are unable to sustain their level of play for four quarters. The Nets have to remain aggressive if they are to get over the hump of this poor start to the season.

The Nets continue their road trip when they face the Cavaliers on Sunday.

Twitter: sherman@shermangmz1

Email: Shermangmz1@gmail.com

Photo: AP Sue Ogrocki

By Sherman Gomez

"Basketball is my favorite sport, I like the way they dribble up and down the court." "I wish I was a little bit taller, I wish I was a baller." "Last week messed around and got a triple double." I write about basketball sometimes and then I try to go play....

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