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Embarrassing: Nets blow 23-point lead as Paul George drops 47, hits game-winner

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NBA: Oklahoma City Thunder at Brooklyn Nets Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports

BROOKLYN, N.Y. — Tank or no tank, it’s becoming an embarrassment.

The Nets hadn’t won a game at home in over a month entering Wednesday, dating back to November 4 when they defeated the Philadelphia 76ers by 25. It looked like the script might finally change.

They led by 23 in the third quarter and 19 with 8:35 left in the fourth. That’s when Paul George and the Thunder woke up. George went onto score 25 of his 47 points in the fourth, capped off with a game-winning three-pointer with 3.1 seconds left.

The Nets, once again, had a hard time inbounding the ball. They went to Jared Dudley, who had the ball poked out with 0.1 second left. Game over.

This is the third time Brooklyn has lost on a game-winning shot this month.

“It just feels like we’re going through the whole thing like it’s Groundhog Day.” said Dudley after the game.

Brooklyn led for most of the game, but George brought it within one with 28 seconds left, 112-111. The Nets had the ball with a four-second shot-clock to game-clock differential, and D’Angelo Russell pulled up from straight away and missed, giving George and the Thunder a chance to win the game.

“The D’Angelo (Russell) one at the end of the shot clock, it’s just something he’s gotta learn. You’ve got to take the shot clock down, you’ve got to leave them with little time on the clock, but that’s just a learning thing for a 22-year-old point guard,” Kenny Atkinson said of Russell’s shot selection at the end.

OKC moved the ball and found George as Spencer Dinwiddie jumped on a pump fake. George lifted and shot from the right wing extended and nailed a three-pointer with 3.1 seconds left.

The Thunder won by a final score of 114-112 and handed Brooklyn its eight straight loss and 12 in the last 14. They’re now 2-10 since Caris LeVert’s injury.

“IT LOOKED LIKE THE NETS MIGHT HAVE IT...”

The Nets played well through three quarters, behind the lead of the underachieving Allen Crabbe, who nailed seven threes on the night for 22 points. The Nets took control following a 36-22 advantage in the second quarter — 16-point lead at half.

They led by 20 entering the fourth, but a 24-8 extended lead brought OKC back within four.

The script looked all too familiar and the result was too.

After missing the last three games, Joe Harris was back in the starting lineup and effective as ever. He finished the night with 19 points and seven rebounds. With Harris back in the starting lineup, Spencer Dinwiddie was back with the second unit where he scored 17 points on 6-of-11 shooting.

And that’s that... Brooklyn’s season in a nutshell. They’re 8-18 on the season and it feels a lot worse after all these heartbreaking losses.

WHAT IS KENNY’S SECRET?

Before the game, Kenny Atkinson was asked how he keeps his group playing hard despite the adversity. More specifically, the reporter asked what’s his “secret”?

“Be positive. Even after the Cleveland game, it’s a winnable game, but I try to tell the truth. If I see they didn’t bust it or they weren’t competing, I’ll give it to them. I thought against Cleveland they busted their tails, we just didn’t make shots. Sure we made mistakes, but we didn’t make shots. They understand when they don’t bring it they’re going to be held accountable. They like the honest conversations, the players want that and they appreciate that — uncomfortable sometimes, but that’s how we do it.”

And after the game?

“We’ve gotta be resilient. We’ve gotta fight through this.”

WESTBROOK PASSED KIDD

Westbrook’s 21-15-17 triple double was the 108th of his career, breaking a tie with Jason Kidd. Westbrook is now third all-time in triple doubles, behind Oscar Robertson (181) and Magic Johnson (134). Of Kidd’s 107 triple doubles, 61 of them were as a New Jersey Net.

YES DEBUTS THREE IN THE BOOTH

It certainly seemed to work!

DINWIDDIE’S KICKS + ANNOUNCEMENT

View this post on Instagram

December 8th. @projectdreamio #AudienceOfOne #K8IROS

A post shared by Spencer Dinwiddie (@sdinwiddie_2508) on

TANK OR DON’T TANK...

WISE WORDS FROM NET INCOME ... BEFORE THE GAME

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For a very different perspective, head on over to Loud City, our Thunder sister sister on SB Nation.

The Nets will host the Toronto Raptors on Friday at 7:30 p.m.