Thunder vs. Nets: Five takeaways from OKC's loss to Brooklyn
Kevin Durant sat back and relaxed on the Nets bench.
The NBA’s second-leading scorer had the night off (injury recovery), but Brooklyn’s offense powered on for a 147-125 win against the Thunder on Friday night in Oklahoma City.
“They were cooking offensively and we didn’t have the fastball we needed to stand in there on that end,” Thunder coach Mark Daigneault said.
Brooklyn scored 36, 40 and 39 points in the first three quarters. It was the most points the Thunder has allowed in any game this season — by a massive 19-point margin.
- Related to this story
- Article: Tramel: Kevin Durant, James Harden & Co. gave Thunder some wonder years. Time to look back fondly.
- Article: Tramel: Thunder lottery plan is working, as Nets' 147-125 rout shows
- Article: Thunder: How starting Theo Maledon has unlocked new options for OKC's offense
- Article: Thunder vs. Rockets: How to watch, live stream, time, lineups
- Video: Thunder Update: SGA’s efficient night
- Video: Thunder Update: OKC loses to Nets at home
“They did a good job moving the ball and we just didn’t quite have it tonight to slow them down,” Thunder center Al Horford said. “Had a hard time really most of the night. We were never able to make up that lead that they built.”
Brooklyn shot 57% behind a balanced attack. Kyrie Irving and James Harden both scored 25 points. Joe Harris added 20 and Bruce Brown scored 19. The Nets had nine players reach double-digit scoring.
Here are four other takeaways from the game:
Theo Maledon didn’t miss from long distance.
The Thunder rookie was 6-of-6 from 3-point range. He would’ve had a seventh 3-pointer had his foot not been on the line for a long two in the fourth quarter.
Maledon scored a career-high 24 points, which doubled his previous career high.
The 6-foot-4 point guard earned his third consecutive start in place of George Hill (right thumb sprain).
This was the biggest issue, among many others, ailing the Thunder’s defense.
The Nets outscored the Thunder 70-38 in the paint.
The Thunder’s squishy interior defense has been a consistent problem this season.
The 3-pointers were falling on both sides.
The Thunder shot 16-of-38 (42%) from 3-point range and still managed to lose by 22. Maledon and Al Horford accounted for 10 of those makes.
“I thought offensively we were pretty good, pretty sharp,” Daigneault said. “I thought we played really well-intentioned.”
Brooklyn shot 19-of-45 (42%) from 3-point range. Harden, Harris, Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot and Landry Shamet all made at least three 3-pointers.
SGA’s efficient night
The Thunder’s defensive lapses overshadowed an impressive offensive performance — albeit against a disinterested Nets defense.
The Thunder’s 125-point night was four shy of its season high which came against … you guessed it. The Nets.
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander scored 24 points on 10 shots. He was 7-of-10 from the field and 10-of-13 from the free throw line. His 13 free throw attempts tied a career high.
Gilgeous-Alexander, who was regularly double-teamed, recorded five assists with four turnovers.