“The bounce back tonight was incredible,” Carlesimo said.
The Nets played with a different cast against OKC than in the season's earlier meeting at the Barclays Center.
When the Thunder outlasted Brooklyn 117-111 on Dec. 4, the Nets were without starting center Brook Lopez and starting power forward Reggie Evans, who were out with injuries.
On Wednesday, Lopez had 25 points and shot 11 for 17 from the field.
“We really wanted to come out of the gate and really prove something, kind of a new slate for the new year,” Lopez said. “We wanted to come out together and make a little statement against these guys.”
Brooklyn guard Joe Johnson, who came in with a 16.6-point average, scored a season-high 33, buried 11 of 19 shots and was 5 of 10 from 3-point range. He started the game shooting 7 for 8 from the field and had 20 points at intermission.
“It wasn't necessarily our offense,” Johnson said. “I mean, we were clicking on all cylinders, but defensively, that's where it all started. We got stops. We got out in transition. We ran pretty much the whole game.”
Nets point guard Deron Williams came in shooting 30.0 percent from 3-point range, but went 3 for 4 beyond the arc against the Thunder. He finished with 19 points, 13 assists and five steals.
“Deron ran the team unbelievably,” Carlesimo said. “Joe was a monster. I thought Brook was great, particularly when we needed it down the stretch.”