The start of the game was balanced with both teams going blow for blow on every possession. In a quarter without much rhythm or intensity, the Thunder of a well-legged Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (9 points) took the lead (28-24).
Seth Curry woke up the Nets with 7 points at the start of the second quarter, to allow his people to pass in front of the score (34-32). But with the impetus of Josh Giddey and Luguentz Dort, OKC reacted quickly to take an 8-point lead (45-37). It was a playoff game, and Brooklyn responded with a 13-2 run marked by TJ Warren in particular. The Nets led 50-48 at the break.
Like the first quarter, both teams responded on every possession after returning from the locker room. If Kyrie Irving is not at the address (3/11), Joe Harris will start to heat up. On the Thunder side, Josh Giddey continued his work with 16 points, 7 rebounds and 6 assists midway through the third quarter. As the game progressed, Brooklyn became more comfortable with a ball that moved well and a defensive collective effort.
Kyrie Irving’s teammates took a 9-point lead (75-66). OKC held on and would finish this third act better than the Nets by closing the gap to 5 points (80-75).
The Thunder will begin the final quarter as they ended the previous quarter. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander’s teammates would outscore the Nets 24-12, to take a 7-point lead (99-92). The Nets wouldn’t hold back, the Thunder would run to the end with a very high quality 4th quarter win 37-22. OKC won on the floor of Brooklyn 112-102, and it was their 3rd straight victory on the road.
WHAT YOU SHOULD REMEMBER
– The Thunder’s 4th quarter. Leading by 5 points at the end of the 3rd quarter, OKC completely dominated Brooklyn in the 4th quarter with a score of 37-22. The Thunder players showed good coordination in the offensive but also in the defensive phases, which allowed them to quickly take advantage of Brooklyn. The Nets were out of sync and made a lot of defensive mistakes. OKC took a solid, comfortable lead to finally win the match without a scare at the end.
– Two losses in two games without Kevin Durant. Ever since Kevin Durant got injured, Brooklyn has been struggling. Without his best element, the Nets show deficiencies in their game and this was particularly seen in the last quarter where it clearly lacked the presence of a boss while the Thunder were chained to baskets.
✅Josh Giddey. He is the leader of the Thunder on the field by making the right decisions throughout the game. He is not far from a triple-double: 28 points on 12/21 shooting, 9 rebounds and 9 assists.
✅ Shai Gilgeous-Alexander. He played as well as ever despite mixed shooting skills: 28 points on 8/17 shooting including 1/4 from 3-pointers. Decisive late in the game.
✅ Luguentz is sleeping. He embodies the fighting spirit of this OKC team, and he hurts a lot from distance: 22 points on 5/7 from 3-pointers!
✅ Seth Curry. Despite the loss, a great game from him off the bench: 23 points on 9/15 shooting.
✅ Nic Claxton. He dominated on both sides of the field: 17 points on 7/10 shooting but above all 13 rebounds and 4 blocks!
⛔️ Kyrie Irving. He completely missed his match on a 7/20 shooting including 1/7 from 3-pointers.
Nets (27-15): Travel to Spurs overnight from Tuesday to Wednesday (2H).
Thunder (21-23): Pacers reception on Wednesday to Thursday night (2H).