The game plan, apparently, was to keep Devin Harris and Brook Lopez under control, and it worked fairly well, though New Jersey came back with Plan Yi: Yi Jianlian, who rolled up 18 points in the first half. The Nets, in fact, managed to take the lead halfway through the third quarter, 72-70, at which time the Thunder remembered that they, unlike the Nets, have a D in their name, and proceeded to shut down what was left of the Jersey offense, holding the Nets to 13 points in the final frame. Oklahoma City 105, New Jersey 89, as the Nets fall to 2-29, a record familiar to Thunder fans from this time last year.
Interestingly, all five Nets starters finished in double figures, Yi coming up with 29, but the bench was held to eight. New Jersey shot an okay 45.3 percent from the floor, though they made only one of nine treys.
Then again, the Thunder failed to connect on any of 12 attempted three-pointers; they shot 47.4 percent. They made lots of trips to the stripe, though: 40 free throws, making 33. Oklahoma City outrebounded New Jersey, 43-33. Two double-doubles for the Zombie Sonics: Russell Westbrook had 16 points and 10 dimes (and only two turnovers), and Nick Collison had 11 points and 10 rebounds. Nenad Krstić, who spent four years with the Nets, was happy to knock down 19 points, and that Durant guy, who’d been doing all those consecutive 30-point games, broke the string, sort of, with a 40-point game.
This is only the second three-game winning streak for the Thunder since pitching their tent in OKC last season, and like the first, it involved the team’s 14th, 15th and 16th wins. The difference, of course, is that last year they’d lost 45 at that point. This year’s Thunder is now two games above .500, and the Wizards await in DC tomorrow night.