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Nets play one of their best games of the season, beat the Thunder 110-93

Aside from a 3rd quarter slump, the Nets played were at their absolute best against the Thunder.

Mark D. Smith-USA TODAY Sports

The Nets offense looked good early, scoring more points (7) in the first two minutes of this game than they did the entire 3rd quarter of Monday's game against the Spurs. It was, in fact, a sign of things to come as the Nets built up a big lead then survived the Thunder's inevitable assault and pulled away at the end for a 110-93 win in Oklahoma City.

It was the Nets second biggest margin of victory this season, displacing the 16-point win last week over the Bobcats. It was also the Thunder's worse loss of the season. Prior to Wednesday, Oklahoma City's worst loss was a 10-point loss to the Grizzlies a month and a half ago. It also ended the Thunder's 12-game winning streak at the Chesapeake Energy Arena ... and Kevin Durant's streak of never being ejected from an NBA. As time wound down, Durant was tossed after arguing a foul call.

The win left the team both exhilarated and relieved, following the 31-point loss to the Spurs.

"We wanted to come out together and make a little statement against these guys," said Brook Lopez, adding, "We can be like that every night and that's the kind of output we want."

P.J. Carlesimo, now 3-1 as Nets interim coach, called the bounce back from San Antonio "incredible" and added, "We set the bar a little bit high. we showed ourselves what we are capable of doing."

Deron Williams agreed. Said Williams: "Hopefully, we realize this is how we can play every night and how we should play."

Brooklyn shot 64 percent in the first quarter, scoring 33 points (most points scored in a quarter on the road) on 14-of-22 shooting. We call this, the anti-3rd quarter performance. It was certainly interesting to see a starting frontcourt which consisted of Brook Lopez-Reggie Evans-Gerlad Wallace. It was the perfect mix of defense-offense-size, to counter the Thunder's big line of Kevin Durant-Serge Ibaka-Kendrick Perkins.

Oklahoma City looked terrible on the defensive end in the first half, letting the Nets get open looks and allowing them to pull ahead by 23 points. They shot 60 percent in the first, taking a 61-45 lead into halftime, with Joe Johnson scoring 20 points and Deron Williams dishing nine assists to just one turnover.

And then, we held our collective breath as the third quarter began.

The Thunder made their run, as expected, pulling to within nine points in the first five minutes of the third, and then, later, to within three. The run was expected, no question about that, but the story was more about how the Nets would respond. The quarter itself wasn't pretty, but it also wasn't San Antonio.

The Nets were out-scored 27-15 in the third.

They continued to battle in the 4th quarter, seemingly going bask-for-basket early on. Joe Johnson took over midway through the quarter, scoring eight straight for the Nets, with a big bucket after the Thunder had tied the game. But, Johnson (33 points on 11-of-19 shooting), Lopez (25 points on 11-of-17 shooting) and Williams (19 points, 13 assists, two turnovers and five steals) wouldn't let this one get away, taking it 110-93. Over the last five games, Lopez is averaging 23.6 points, 8.4 rebounds, 1.8 blocks and shooting 58.8 percent.

It was a great sign for Brooklyn to see them close out a game against the best team in the NBA (record-wise). The Nets played a complete game on both ends of the floor -- aside from their normal 3rd quarter slump -- shooting 50 percent from the floor (25-of-29 from the free-throw line) and forcing 19 turnovers.

As Joe Johnson put it during his post-game interview on YES, "We know we're better than a .500 team."

Considering, it's hard to argue against this being the best win of the season.

For more on the Thunder, see: Welcome to Loud City