By Addam Francisco
Just after everyone praised the Oklahoma City Thunder for their improved play and latest seven game winning streak, an unorganized and unorthodox trip to Brooklyn ends it all. At (11-33), the Brooklyn Nets really shouldn't have had a chance against the (33-12) Thunder, but due to low-post scoring and second chance points, the Nets snap OKC's streak with a 116-106 win.
Despite the Nets having a good track record against the Thunder, this season has been horrible for Brooklyn and Oklahoma City has had a great season, so you'd think this would be an easy win for the Thunder, but not so much tonight.
Before fans start to freak out, and critics start to do what they love to do, criticize... Let's look at the situation; Brook Lopez had one of those great games. For just the second time all season, a player for the Nets scored at least 30 points and both times it was Lopez. 31 of Brooklyn's 58 points in the paint came from Brook and 12 of the 18 offensive rebounds came from both Lopez (5) and Thaddeus Young (7). As documented and talked about so much this past year, Enes Kanter's weakness is defense, and he played 30 minutes tonightprimarily guarding Lopez. It's hard to say this team lost due to one or two players being out, but if Steven Adams who's out with an elbow injury would've played, along with Andre Roberson who left at halftime, they more than likely would've pulled this game out. There were instances where the Thunder's short lineup really struggled against the Nets star big man. Look for Oklahoma City to continue to succeed, especially when Adams and Roberson return.
On a good note...
If there is a good aspect of this game, it would be Kevin Durant scoring 32 points and 10 rebounds off 22 shots and 50 percent shooting, Russell Westbrook scoring 27 points, collecting 11 rebounds assisting on 7 buckets, and Cameron Payne scoring 10 points off 4-of-5 shooting and also had the highest +/- rating at +3.
There were moments in this game where the offense looked very sluggish and confused, but at the same time, the Thunder still scored 106 points, which in a weird way, is encouraging looking forward.
Oklahoma City will play the New York Knicks Tuesday night in another snow-packed city due to the latest blizzard that hit the eastern part of the U.S. The Thunder are now (33-13) on the season.