“Go New York, Go New York, Go!”
It should be “Oh New York, Oh New York, No!”
With the Big Game in town, both the Brooklyn Nets (20-25) and the New York Knicks (19-28) had marquee match-ups at home this past weekend. Unfortunately, it was a losing weekend for both teams; particularly for the Nets who fell to the two top teams in the NBA, the Oklahoma City Thunder (38-11) and the Indiana Pacers (36-10).
On Friday night, in front of a sold-out crowd at Barclays Center, Kevin Durant and the Thunder trampled the Nets 120-95. Durant’s streak of scoring 30 or more points came to a halt, but it wasn’t because the Nets prevented him from reaching the 30-point mark. Coach Scott Brooks sat Durant for the remaining 1:15 left in the 3rd quarter and the whole 4th quarter -- Durant played 30 minutes and finished with 26 points off 10-12 shooting.
The Nets couldn’t get into the game, and the Thunder were able to build a lead in the opening quarter. The Thunder finished the quarter on a 13-0 run and led the Nets 30-16. In the 2nd quarter, the Thunder blew the game wide open -- almost midway through the quarter, the Thunder went on a 11-0 run to take a 45-24 lead.
At 5:07, Paul Pierce made a free throw to cut the lead to 20, then the Thunder responded with eight straight points. Durant hit a 19-foot jumper on the next possession, then Reggie Jackson followed with a basket and a foul (Jackson hit the free throw). Durant finished the run with a 3-pointer.
Later, Durant hit a turn around jumper and another 3-pointer on consecutive possessions to give the Thunder a 61-30 lead. At halftime, the Thunder led 63-35. The Nets couldn’t make a run to get back into the game, and the Thunder went on to win comfortably.
Durant’s streak of games scoring 30 or more points ended at 12. This win increased the Thunder’s win-streak to 10 games. Despite the loss, the Nets recorded the best record in the NBA for the month of January (10-3).
Key Stats: Shaun Livingston led the Nets with 16 points, 4 rebounds, and 3 steals. Paul Pierce had 10 points and 5 rebounds. Deron Williams, Mason Plumlee, and Jason Terry had 14, 13, and 11 points off the bench respectively.
Kevin Durant led the Thunder with 26 points, 7 rebounds, and 3 assists. Serge Ibaka finished with 25 points and 9 rebounds, and shot a perfect 12-12 from the field. Reggie Jackson and Thabo Sefolosha both finished with 14 points. Jeremy Lamb and Perry Jones finished with 12 and 11 points off the bench respectively.
Key Notes: Andrei Kirilenko didn’t play due to a strained right calf injury. Andray Blatche left the game in the second half with a bruised left hip.
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