Oklahoma City came to Brooklyn leading the league in points per game.
And after the Thunder took a 117-111 win on Tuesday night, the Nets and their fans saw why.
The Thunder shot a season-high 60.7 percent against the Nets. None of the nine Thunder players who logged minutes shot less than 50 percent. The Thunder's point total tied the third-most points OKC has scored this season and bumped the team's league-leading scoring average to 105.7.
“We made shots,” said Thunder coach Scott Brooks. “Some nights you're going to make shots. You don't anticipate shooting 60 percent. There are too many good defensive teams in this league and they are a good defensive team. We both are. But we both had trouble guarding each other.”
The offensive explosion was credited to unselfishness.
“It was great,” said Thabo Sefolosha. “That's the way we started the game and the way we played the whole game pretty much except maybe for a little stretch in the third. But I think the ball was moving extremely well. We were finding open guys and everybody was able to play and give something offensively.”
The Thunder also shot 50 percent from 3-point range and made 30 of 34 free throws (88.2 percent). According to basketball-reference.com, it was just the 26th time since the 1985-86 season that a team has shot at least 60 percent from the field, 50 percent from 3-point range and 88 percent from the foul line. The last team to do it was San Antonio on April 20 against the Los Angeles Lakers.
NETS GET HOT
The Thunder led the Nets by as many as 16 on Tuesday night but saw that margin evaporate when Brooklyn poured in 38 points in the third quarter.
The Nets made 12 of 20 shots (60 percent) in the period and went 6-for-9 from 3-point range. Brooklyn finished 14-for-34 (41.2 percent) from behind the arc despite entering the game ranking 24th in 3-point shooting at 33.5 percent.
“They got hot tonight,” Brooks said. “They weren't shooting the ball as well as they're going to shoot. They've got some good players and they're going to shoot the ball well. But that third quarter, we haven't seen that many times against us.”
Nets forward Gerald Wallace, who came in averaging 9.4 points, made all four of his 3-point attempts in the third period.
“Give him credit,” Brooks said. “He's a much improved shooter. You want all of your players to get better throughout the years and he has. I didn't think he was as good as he (was) tonight with those 3s. But he stepped up and hit them in a big way.”
Thunder players seemed impressed with their first look at the Barclays Center, the NBA's newest arena. Kevin Durant before the game even compared his anticipation for his Brooklyn debut to the excitement he typically has for playing inside Madison Square Garden.
“This is the first time I've been here and we've been hearing about it for a long time,” Durant said. “You watch it on TV and just see the atmosphere here and it's pretty cool, especially as a guy coming from the east coast who knows all about New York basketball.”
Durant played in street ball games across the country last year during the lockout, including a few pickup games in New York City. He was scheduled to appear in Brooklyn but couldn't make it. He said Tuesday that he plans on returning to New York next summer and competing in Brooklyn if his schedule permits.
Russell Westbrook when asked if he was fired up to play against Nets guard Deron Williams: “I am fired up every single night.”