By Anthony Slater – Aslater@opubco.com - @anthonyVslater
The Thunder’s league-best 12-game home streak is over, extinguished by former coach P.J. Carlesimo and his Brooklyn Nets, 110-93 in The Peake on Wednesday night. Here’s some rapid reaction:
Facing a furious Thunder comeback, led by the always energized Russell Westbrook, Brooklyn looked primed for a fourth quarter letdown. But the Nets, and most notably red hot Joe Johnson, wouldn’t be denied a surprising road win. Brooklyn won the final quarter by 13 points and won the game by 17, marking the largest margin of defeat for OKC this year (previous high was 10 against Memphis).
It was over when…
…Brook Lopez went all Michael Jordan on the Thunder, flying through the lane on an wild and weirdly acrobatic drive. The lumbering seven-footer somehow flung in an over-the-shoulder and-1 hook shot, despite getting mauled by Serge Ibaka. With the free throw, it put the Nets up 12 with 2:31 left and was the definitive dagger in OKC’s 12-game home winning streak.
Star of the game – Joe Johnson
When pundits take aim at the NBA’s broken salary system, Joe Johnson’s expensive deal is often used as point #1. He’s not a max player and Atlanta should have never signed him to that huge deal. But that doesn’t mean the sharpshooter isn’t an excellent NBA player. Especially when his stroke is on. And it was on Wednesday night. Johnson started hot (5/6 shooting in the first quarter) and finished strong (11/19 shooting for a season-high 33 points).
Stat of the game
For the first time this season, the Thunder lost when Russell Westbrook shot 50 percent or better. Westbrook went 11/19 from the field. Previously, OKC was 6-0 when he hit the 50 percent plateau.
Stat of the game II
Joe Johnson and Deron Williams have both scored a season-high 33 points against the Thunder. Johnson did it Wednesday night, Williams did it in early December.
Video of the game
At the end of a frustrating night, Kevin Durant vehemently argued a call and was ejected for the first time in his NBA career.
Plenty of reaction to Durant’s ejection
“I said it was a bad call” – Kevin Durant on what he said to get ejected.
The Thunder end its mini three-game homestand against Philadelphia on Friday night. The 76ers have struggled of late, losing eight of their past 11, but earlier this year they took the Thunder to overtime in Philadephia, before falling 116-109.