Nets All-Star point guard Deron Williams became the face of that futility after a 14-point performance on 5-for-18 shooting and an 0-for-6 night from beyond the arc.
“I thought our guards did a good job of making their guards take some tough shots,” Brooks said. “We want to keep contesting 3s, and going into this game, we knew that was one of their strengths.”
On this night, the Thunder wasn't much better at putting the ball in the basket. Oklahoma City shot just 41.6 percent and was held to a season low in points.
Russell Westbrook scored a game-high 21 points but needed 21 shots. Durant, meanwhile, had 20 points but needed 22 shots. The All-Star duo also combined for nine assists and eight turnovers, as the Thunder finished with more turnovers (19) than assists (13) for the second straight game and the sixth time this season.
“Wow,” said New Jersey coach Avery Johnson. “If somebody would have told me that the Oklahoma City Thunder would have scored 84 points on 41 percent shooting, I would think in my mind that we would score 95. This is really disappointing because we couldn't make shots tonight.”
The Thunder made up for its poor shooting — which included a 4-for-17 clip from 3-point range — by capitalizing off the Nets' mistakes. OKC turned 18 New Jersey turnovers into 22 points. A whopping 18 of those points off turnovers came by halftime, when the Thunder used 12 Nets giveaways to help build its 13-point cushion at the break.
“That was our best offense tonight,” said Westbrook, “getting stops and getting out in transition. We struggled a little bit in the halfcourt, but we get a day or two to figure that out before the next game.”