We knew this much about the Brooklyn Nets: they could score a lot, even if they couldn’t stop you from scoring a lot. As much as anything, this explains the 40-34 first quarter, in which defense was not in evidence, and in which the Nets made eight of their first 10 treys. This could not be permitted to continue, and somewhere along the way the Thunder managed to put up some semblance of peripheral defense: Brooklyn finished 11-29 from long distance, still better than the Thunder’s 7-26. Still, subtract those treys from the Thunder 49-89 total and you have 42-63 on two-point shots. That’s 67 percent. Lesson: if the treys aren’t falling, go inside. In fact, even if they are falling, go inside: the return is better. By halftime, OKC had managed a 64-61 lead, and the Nets did a slow fade in the second half, allowing the Thunder to make off with a 124-105 win.
The Nets were perhaps hampered by the loss of their starting point guard: Jeremy Lin messed up a hamstring early in the season that hasn’t quite healed. Randy Foye, starting in Lin’s place, didn’t hang around long. As expected, Brook Lopez led the Brooklyn scoring with 22; five of his teammates were good for double figures. The Nets didn’t rebound much — 30 versus 46 — and didn’t quite defend much either; the Thunder got 62 points in the paint versus 42.
Mr. Triple Double himself, Russell Westbrook, turned in yet another one, this time 30-11-13, a fitting performance for his 600th game. Victor Oladipo splashed down 26, Steven Adams had 15, and three Thunder reserves hit double figures, 13 for Enes Kanter and Joffrey Lauvergne, ten for Alex Abrines. The Indiana Pacers, hobbled by the loss of Paul George, will be here Sunday evening.