clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Thunder struck by Lopez and the Nets, 116-106

New, comments
Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports

That should convince Kevin Durant to come to Brooklyn this offseason!

Maybe that's a stretch, but the 11-33 Nets knocked off the 33-12 Thunder in snowy Brooklyn, 116-106, on Sunday night. The win comes behind a big night from Brook Lopez and the bench unit, both whom put together some of their best basketball, scoring a season-high 116 points in regulation. They didn't trail at any point of the game.

The Nets won just their 3rd game in January, improving their record to 12-33 on the season and 3-10 in the month. It also ends a five-game losing streak and is only their second win without Jarrett Jack.

The game was originally scheduled for 3:30, but was delayed for four hours due to the blizzard that haunted New Yorkers with over two feet of snow.

With guys like Durant in town, it wouldn't have been an issue getting butts in the seats for a game like this. The Nets are only praying that they can say that for every home game... one day. Before the game, the soon-to-be free agent Durant acknowledged the talent of (fellow shimmier)  Rondae Hollis-Jefferson and cited how New York City is the mecca of basketball.

Woo!

Anyway, back to the game.

The guys in black-and-white played some of their best basketball in the first half. They matched a season-high 60 points behind 14 points from Lopez and 24 points from the bench. It was a balanced attack for Brooklyn, opposed to the Thunder who relied heavily on the dynamic duo of Russell Westbrook and of course Durant.

The Nets, a bad team, usually find ways to lose games by not playing a full 48-minute game, nonetheless against teams with superstars who are known to close out games.

OKC started cutting into Brooklyn's 13-point lead. The final 12 minutes seemed like they were ticking slower than death row inmate's clock, as the double digit lead dwindled to nine. Then seven. Then five.

It was as if we were all waiting for the Nets to break your heart once more. But not tonight. Not with Brook Lopez leading the charge.

Lopez, who was minutes away from being dealt to OKC at last season's deadline, went off for a season-high 31 points, 10 rebounds and three blocks on 11-of-19 shooting.  Lopez was told to get off the Nets' team bus, only to get back on and remain a Brooklyn Net.

Good thing.

Since the 2008-2009 season, Lopez is one of five current players that average 20 points and 50 percent shooting against the Thunder.

Led by Lopez, the Nets were lethal on the interior. They scored 58 points inside the paint and came up with 18 offensive rebounds. Thaddeus Young, who finished with his 20th double double of the season (14 points and 14 rebounds), grabbed seven offensive boards of his own.

Meanwhile, Durant finished with 32 points, 10 rebounds and seven assists, while Westbrook put home 27 points and 11 rebounds.

Any other game, the Nets fold behind performances like that.

Instead, they received big contributions from the bench which essentially helped them overcome OKC's duo. They combined for 35 points as Bojan Bogdanovic led the second unit with 18 points on 7-of-12 shooting. Bogdanovic has struggled the entire month of January, but seemingly has snapped out of his funk with two consecutive games in double figures.

It may not mean much for the Nets who are way out of playoff contention, but at least they're not giving up after poor efforts. It would've been easy for them to fall over and fold in a game like this, but they didn't.

Next up: Miami, Tuesday at 7:30pm.

For more on the Thunder, check them out at Welcome to Loud City.