Things for the Brooklyn Nets haven't gone as smoothly as they had hoped the past two weeks. The team was on a five game losing streak, and to make matters worse, rumors are circulating that Andrei Kirilenko may have played his last game in Brooklyn. However, the Nets still have games to play and Friday night, they went up against the depleted Oklahoma City Thunder, who were without Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook.
However, even without the star power the Thunder are used to, they fought the Nets until the absolute end. The Nets were unable to find a lead for most of the game, but a huge defensive effort in the fourth quarter ultimately led to a big victory, one that snaps a five-game losing streak, 94-92. Following a missed free throw from Joe Johnson, the Nets found themselves up two with four seconds remaining. Reggie Jackson tried to win the game with an open three point attempt, but missed as time expired. As for both teams' shooting, well, it wasn't pretty. The Nets shot 46% from the field and 33% from three, but held OKC to 45% shooting and 20% from three.
The late game execution wasn't pretty, either, but the Nets pulled it out. After building up a seven-point lead at the 4:29 mark here are the Nets' numbers: 1-of-6 from the field; 0-of-3 from inside the paint; 1-of-3 from three; 1-of-2 from the free throw line, while committing two turnovers. Overall, they finished the fourth having shot 12-of-13 from the line.
Top performers for Brooklyn: Jarrett Jack was yet again the Nets' savior. For the fifth straight game, Jack scored in double figures, except in this one, he did much more. He led all scorers with 23 points and five assists on 8-of-15 shooting while hitting on 6 of his 7 free throw attempts. Deron Williams scored 17 points, five rebounds and four assists.
Meanwhile, Brook Lopez grabbed his first double-double since Game Five of the 2013 playoffs against the Chicago Bulls. He finished with a statline of 16 points, 10 rebounds and three blocks, while Mirza Teletovic came off the bench and dropped 13 points and seven rebounds on 6-of-12 shooting.
Top performers for OKC: Reggie Jackson filled in the void for Russell Westbrook as he went off for 21 points, eight assists and two steals. Serge Ibaka also had himself a double-double nigh, consisting of 16 points and 10 rebounds. To go with that, he blocked two shots.
Stats of the night: The Nets shot a fantastic 27-of-30 (90%) from the free throw line, compared to the Thunder's 12-of-19 shooting for 63%.
Bench vs. Starters: The Nets' bench scored 46 points on a combined 18-of-41 (44%) shooting in 100 total minutes, while the Nets' starters scored 48 points on a combined 13-of-35 (37%) shooting in 140 total minutes. A large drop-off for the starting unit was Joe Johnson (eight points, four turnovers) and Bojan Bogdanovic (zero points, 0-of-5 shooting).
Quarter by quarter summary:
When you're supposed to be a contending team going up against a star-less, depleted team such as the Thunder, it's important to display your dominance early. It was quite the opposite in the first quarter. Despite the Thunder being limited with their offensive weapons, the Nets failed to get the job done when protecting the rimb. The Thunder shot 67% from the field, with Reggie Jackson scoring eight points on 4-of-4 shooting. The Nets on the other hand scored 20 of their 21 points inside the paint, with Brook Lopez scoring eight of the 21. They went 0-of-4 from anywhere outside the paint.
The Thunder led, 27-21, after the first quarter of play.
The Nets were looking for an offensive spark, and once again, it was Jarrett Jack. The backup point guard came into the game and scored 12 points on 5-of-8 shooting, while Mirza Teletovic also chipped in nine points off the bench. Jack's 12 points led all scorers in the half, but it was the Nets' sloppiness that hurt them in the half. They turned the ball over 11 times which led to 13 points and an overall seven steals for OKC. It seems like the Nets have consistently played down to their opponents level.
Both teams shot the ball at 54% in the half, but the Nets came out of the second quarter having outscored OKC by a slim margin of 28-26. Reggie Jackson led the way for OKC with 10 points.
Score at the half: Thunder 53, Nets 49.
The third quarter was ugly for the Nets' starters. They were completely outplayed by the Thunder, as the interior defense looked extremely timid throughout the game. The Thunder worked their lead up to 10, but behind a late resurgence from Jarrett Jack and the Nets' bench, the guys in black were able to cut the deficit down to three heading into the fourth quarter. Jarrett Jack had 17 points and four assists through his first 23 minutes of action.
The Nets outscored OKC 22-21 in the quarter, but the Thunder led, 74-71, heading into the fourth quarter.
Deron Williams' ankle-breaking crossovers are a thing of beauty; Perhaps as masterful as a Vincent Van Gogh art piece. Two of those masterpieces were performed through the midway point of the quarter, along with a few buckets from Brook Lopez that gave them their biggest lead of the night at seven. While being in the midst of a 19-9 run, the Nets FINALLY had control of this game at the 4:29 mark of the quarter, but as we've seen during the young season, it all comes down to the late-game execution:
The late game execution wasn't pretty, but the Nets pulled it out. From the seven point lead at the 4:29 mark mentioned above, here were the Nets' numbers: Total of 1-of-6 from the field; 0-of-3 from inside the paint; 1-of-3; 1-of-2 from the free throw line, while committing two turnovers. Overall, they finished the fourth having shot 12-of-13 from the line.
Late in the fourth, Joe Johnson missed one of two free throws to put the Nets up two with four seconds remaining. Reggie Jackson got a good look from three, but reluctantly for Brooklyn, the ball rimmed out and the game was over.
Final score: Nets 94, Thunder 92.
The Brooklyn Nets will go up against the San Antonio Spurs, Saturday at 8:30 p.m.
- Nets at Thunder Boxscore - /a>NBA.com
- Game Thread: Brooklyn Nets at Oklahoma City Thunder, 8:00 PM - NetsDaily
- 2nd Half Game Thread: Nets at Thunder - NetsDaily
- Nets vs. Thunder (Video) - NBA.com
- Jackson Textbook Bounce Pass (Video) - NBA.com
- Jackson Finger Roll (Video) - NBA.com
- Jackson Killer Crossover And Slam (Video) - NBA.com
- Jack Acorbatic Reverse Layup (Video) - NBA.com
- Post Game Plus: Nets snap losing streak in OKC (Video) - Bob Lorenz - YES Network
- Hollins talks end of losing streak after win (Video) - YES Network
- Hollins talks Kirilenko as Nets ready for OKC (Video) - YES Network
- Jack talks Nets' win over the Thunder (Video) - Sarah Kustok - YES Network
- Lopez on importance of close win over OKC (Video) - YES Network
- Teletovic on end of losing streak after win (Video) - YES Network
- Brook Lopez Curses After Jarrett Jack Doesn't Use His Screen (Video) - The Brooklyn Game
- Deron Williams Fools Thunder With Nasty Fake (Video) - The Brooklyn Game
- Deron Williams's Filthy Crossover Puts Jeremy Lamb On Skates (GIF) - The Brooklyn Game
- Brook Lopez, Lionel Hollins clash in-game vs. Thunder (Video) - The Brooklyn Game
- Thunder Suffer Fifth Straight Loss (Video) - ESPN
- Brooklyn Nets vs. Oklahoma City Thunder - Recap - November 21, 2014 - AP
- Nets 94, Thunder 92: Losing skid over - Mike Mazzeo - ESPN New York
- Nets show fighting spirit in snapping streak - Mike Mazzeo - ESPN New York
- Jarrett Jack scores 23 as Nets again get well in Oklahoma - Rod Boone - Newsday
- Nets end five-game losing streak with win over Thunder - Stefan Bondy - New York Daily News
- Andrei Kirilenko may have played final game with Nets - Stefan Bondy - New York Daily News
- Nets snap skid, slip past Thunder, 94-92 - Andy Vasquez - The Record
- Nets notes: Kirilenko done? - Andy Vasquez - The Record
- Nets fend off Thunder to snap five-game losing streak - Tim Bontemps - New York Post
- Nets snap skid, sweep Thunder in nailbiter - Devin Kharpertian - The Brooklyn Game
- Uh, does Deron Williams have a black eye? - Devin Kharpertian - The Brooklyn Game
- Oklahoma City Thunder: OKC falls to Brooklyn Nets for fifth straight loss - Darnell Mayberry - The Oklahoman
- OKC Thunder: Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook to participate in parts of Saturday's practice - Anthony Slater - The Oklahoman
- Durant, Westbrook set to practice - Fran Blinebury - NBA.com