SNOW WAY! Nets beat Durant, Westbrook, OKC behind Lopez

By on January 25, 2016

NEW YORK DAILY NEWS

Updated: Monday, January 25, 2016, 12:25 AM

Nets center Brook Lopez gets to the hoop on his way to 31 points in a surprising win over the visiting Oklahoma City Thunder on Sunday.Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE/Getty Images

Nets center Brook Lopez gets to the hoop on his way to 31 points in a surprising win over the visiting Oklahoma City Thunder on Sunday.

Maybe the Brooklyn Nets just need to practice less.

Forced by a blizzard to spend a whole weekend resting, the reenergized Nets plowed through the Oklahoma City Thunder on Sunday night at Barclays Cemter, leading all night on their way to a 116-106 win — their 12th on the season.

“They kicked our ass all night,” said Kevin Durant, the Thunder’s star forward, referring to the smooth collaboration of Brooklyn’s Brook Lopez and Thaddeus Young. “Rebounding the ball, scoring in the paint. They did what they wanted to…They kind of controlled the game, their bigs.”

Lopez had 31 points and 10 rebounds. Young had 14 points and 14 rebounds. Three of their teammates — Joe Johnson, Donald Sloan, and Bojan Bogdanovic — each scored in double digits, holding it together down the stretch.

“Our focus,” Lopez said, asked what made the difference for the team. “Right when we hit the court…we were just a different team. We had high level of concentration, and it carried through all of our preparation, warmups and into the game. We had a different bounce about us.”

Bogdanovic had 18 points, including four 3-pointers and a slam dunk to close out the third quarter. On that play, Wayne Ellington — under pressure on the breakaway — fed Bogdanovic the ball by blindly tossing it straight back over his head as he went to the rim.

Kevin Durant finishes with 32 points but it's not enough for OKC.Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE/Getty Images

Kevin Durant finishes with 32 points but it’s not enough for OKC.

It was just one stylish play among many on a night when the Nets used fluid passing and aggressive penetration to blot out memories from the hapless squad that had lost its previous five games.

“A great win for us,” said Nets interim coach Tony Brown, whose team is now 1

2-33. “Oklahoma City has been playing great. They’re like 9-1 in their last 10. Their pace is unbelievable with the talent that they have.”

The Thunder’s All-Star duo of Durant and Russell Westbrook combined for 59 points, but the Nets tallied one more than that in the first half alone. Some 38 points of those first-half points were made in the paint, where Oklahoma City was without its first-string center, Steven Adams, who was out with an elbow strain.

The game was the first half of the Thunder’s only trip to New York City this season (they face the Knicks on Tuesday). Their visit coincided perfectly with Winter Storm Jonas, which started dumping more than two feet of snow on the city just as the Thunder arrived in the early morning hours Saturday.

The reaction of Nets interim coach Tony Brown says it all for Brooklyn fans.Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE/Getty Images

The reaction of Nets interim coach Tony Brown says it all for Brooklyn fans.

The Thunder were cooped up in a Manhattan hotel all day Saturday, marveling at the sight of a city with no traffic thanks to the police department’s ban on non-essential vehicles.

“Doesn’t feel like we’re in New York City,” Durant aaid before the game, describing how he spent Saturday

napping and watching television, and stayed inside on Sunday. “When I got on the bus the first time I walked out of the hotel, at 4:30”

Oklahoma City coach Billy Donovan declined to blame the loss on the disruption of the snowstorm.

“I think it’s easy to point to that, and I think that would be doing Brooklyn a disservice, because I thought their team tonight played great,” said the Long Island native. “They played well together. They dealt with the same circumstances we had to deal with.” 


Basketball Rss Article only

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *