BROOKLYN -- Well, that was refreshing! The Brooklyn Nets are coming off a 102-90 victory over the Detroit Pistons to notch their first win of the 2014-2015 season. Monday night, the Nets were up against the depleted Thunder squad, with Brook Lopez returning to the lineup -- his first game since December 20, 2013. Despite the Thunder being without Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook, the Nets knew coming into this game that it would not be easy.
However in Brook Lopez's return, the Nets took the momentum from the win in Detroit and built on it in aggressive fashion. Without Durant and Westbrook, the Thunder struggled to keep up with the heavily balanced offense from Brooklyn. The Nets would go on to win, 116-85. Along with five players finishing in double figures, the Nets shot 52% from the field, 48% from three and committed just eight turnovers. They were just as good on the defensive side of the ball, if not better. They held the Thunder to 38% shooting, 33% from three and nabbed 11 steals. Safe to say, it was a great night for Brooklyn Nets basketball.
Hello, old pal(s). -- Brook Lopez led the way for Brooklyn scorers with 18 points, five rebounds, two blocks and one steal in 24 minutes of action. Deron Williams commanded the offense with 17 points, eight assists, three rebounds and one steal in 37 minutes of action. Alan Anderson also chipped in 18 points on an almost perfect 7-8 shooting (4-4 from three), while Joe Johnson added 13 points, six rebounds and six assists. Bojan Bogdanovic reached double digits for the first time in his career, scoring 12 points on 5-9 shooting and tossing a perfect alley oop to Mason Plumlee at the end of the first half.
After the game, Coach Lionel Hollins praised the Nets and their effort.
"We came out and took care of business," said Hollins. This is a game we should win if we play well, we did play well and we won the game." Hollins also commented on how this wasn't even the Nets' highest potential. "This is not our mountain. We hope to be much better in January and February than today."
Quarter by quarter summary:
The excitement for the home opener was undoubtedly high at the Barclays Center, and perhaps even higher for the official return of Brook Lopez. However, Lopez would pick up his second foul within three minutes of the first quarter, forcing him to check out earlier than desired.
It was pretty evident that Joe Johnson picked off from where he left off in Detroit, and well, so did the Nets. Joe Johnson and his nine first-quarter points had the Nets up double digits for most of the opening 12 minutes. But, it wasn't just Johnson who was taking control.
Deron Williams continued to facilitate the offense at a high-rate, scoring five points and three assists in eight minutes. The significance in that: when Williams is playing at a high level, it makes every other Nets player on the floor better. Just take Bojan Bogdanovic for example. He's struggled during his first two games in Brooklyn, but already scored his career-high eight points in the first quarter on 3-5 shooting. Shy Bojan is no good; selfish Bojan is good.
The Nets were in complete control after the first quarter, in large part to their defense as well. They held the Thunder to 36% from the field, and kept them reasonably close in the rebound category. The Nets led, 32-19 after one.
The second quarter only got better for Brooklyn. They started the quarter on a 12-4 run with Deron Williams and Alan Anderson leading the offensive charge, and eventually increased the lead up to as many as 22. Even with Brook Lopez being limited in the first half due to foul trouble, the Nets looked like a much better team than their opener in Boston.
The Nets finished the half having shot 54% from the field, 64% from three, committed just four turnovers and out-rebounded the Thunder 24-22. The highlight: Bojan Bogdanovic captured a loose ball with four seconds remaining, got by one defender with a crisp, around-the-back move, then proceeded with a beautiful alley-oop pass to the free flying Mason Plumlee as time expired.
Deron Williams led the way for Brooklyn with 11 points and five assists, while Joe Johnson chipped in nine points.
Score at the half: Nets 59, Thunder 40.
The Brooklyn Nets' rout of the Thunder continued through the third, and a great thing to FINALLY hear for the first time since December 20th, the Nets were riding the back of Brook Lopez in the third. Lopez finished the quarter with nine points, with a total of 16 heading into the fourth. The Nets continued their fundamentally sound game by finish three quarter with only six turnovers. On the defensive side, they still had the Thunder shooting a mediocre 42% from the field. The Nets were up, 85-62, heading into the fourth quarter.
This game was long over.
During the early stages of the fourth quarter, the Nets built their largest lead of the night at 29, further proving their dominance over the depleted Thunder. The second unit for Brooklyn would take over the fourth, Alan Anderson in particular, who finished the game with 18 points. Then, it came down to the Nets third unit, where even guys such as Jorge Gutierrez and Sergey Karasev were able to work the Nets lead as high as 35. It was a blow out in Brooklyn, and the guys in white couldn't have performed any better.
Final score: Nets 116, Thunder 85.
The Nets will go up against the Minnesota Timberwolves, Wednesday night at 7:30 PM.
For more on the Oklahoma City Thunder, check them out at Welcome to Loud City.
- Mikhail Prokhorov OKC Thunder pregame (audio) - Anthony Puccio - NetsDaily
- Lionel Hollins OKC Thunder pre-game (audio) - Anthony Puccio - NetsDaily
- Deron Williams OKC Thunder pre-game (audio) - Anthony Puccio - NetsDaily
- Deron Williams OKC Thunder post-game (audio) - Anthony Puccio - NetsDaily
- Brook Lopez OKC Thunder post-game (audio) - Anthony Puccio - NetsDaily
- Kevin Garnett OKC Thunder post-game (audio) - Anthony Puccio - NetsDaily
- Game Thread: Brooklyn Nets vs. Oklahoma City Thunder, 7:30 PM - NetsDaily
- 2nd Half Game Thread: Thunder at Nets - NetsDaily
- Thunder at Nets - Boxscore - NBA.com
- Nets Win Big In Lopez's Return (Video) - ESPN
- Brooklyn Nets enjoy 'monstrous' return of Brook Lopez - ESPN
- Thunder vs. Nets Highlights (Video) - NBA.com
- Johnson to Plumlee (Video) - NBA.com
- Lopez Returns with a Dunk (Video) - NBA.com
- Roberson Leaves the Game (Video) - NBA.com
- Thunder vs. Nets: First half (Video) - NBA.com
- Teletovic to Plumlee (Video) - NBA.com
- Lopez Blocks Thomas (Video) - NBA.com
- Pregame Media Availability with Mikhail Prokhorov (Video) - Brooklyn Nets
- Hollins on Lopez's return, home opener (Video) - YES Network
- Hollins discusses effort in win over Thunder (Video) - YES Network
- Prokorov on Hollins, expectations for Nets (Video) - YES Network
- Bogdanovic on win, making adjustments (Video) - YES Network
- Johnson discusses win in Lopez's return (Video) - YES Network
- Lopez talks return to lineup in home opener (Video) - Sarah Kustok - YES Network
- Brooklyn Nets enjoy 'monstrous' return of Brook Lopez - AP
- Lopez returns, helps Nets topple Thunder - Reutres
- Nets Follow a Bit of Levity With a Serious Drubbing of the Thunder - Andrew Keh - New York Times
- Brooklyn Nets 116, Oklahoma City Thunder 85: Lopez has 18 in return - Mike Mazzeo - ESPN New York
- Nets roll in home opener, rip Thunder, 116-85 - Andy Vasquez - The Record
- Offensive Domination: 5 Big Numbers - Anthony Pignatti - The Brooklyn Game
- The Morning After: Nets Bottle Thunder - Devin Kharpertian - The Brooklyn Game
- Brook Lopez pours in 18 in return as Nets rock Thunder - Tim Bontemps - New York Post
- Brooklyn Nets trounce Thunder, playing without Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook, in home opener - Mitch Abramson - New York Daily News
- Brook Lopez returns to power Nets over Thunder - Rod Boone - Newsday
- Slideshow: Oklahoma City Thunder vs. Brooklyn Nets NBA pictures - Newsday
- Brook Lopez doesn't miss a beat in return to action - Larry Fleisher - Metro US
- Ranking the Rookies: Inconsistency plagues the NBA's first-year players - Sam Vecenie - CBS Sports
- Slideshow: Jay Z and Beyonce watch the Nets' home opener at the Barclays Center - NJ.com
Nets thrash Thunder in home opener - Greg Hrinya - Examiner
- Brooklyn Nets trounce short-handed Oklahoma City Thunder 116-85 - David Barbour - Examiner
- Mason Plumlee Beats Halftime Buzzer With The Alley-Oop Finish - Elizabeth Benson - DIME
- An Opening Night to Remember: Prokhorov Backs Team as Nets Blast Thunder - Lenn Robbins - Brooklyn Nets
- Oklahoma City Thunder: Thunder routed by Brooklyn, Andre Roberson injures foot - Darnell Mayberry - The Oklahoman
- Beyonce shows off blunt bob with Jay-Z at Brooklyn Nets game - John Lopez - Daily Mail