The Brooklyn Nets were just too good to be so mediocre.
The Nets showed why Wednesday night by snapping the Thunder's 12-game, home-court winning streak with a convincing 110-93 victory at Chesapeake Energy Arena.
In the process, P.J. Carlesimo captured his biggest victory as Brooklyn's interim coach in the same building where he was fired just 13 games into the Thunder's existence four years ago.
The Nets (17-15) are now 3-1 under Carlesimo since coach Avery Johnson was fired last Thursday.
Brooklyn dominated early, OKC caught up, then the Nets slammed the door by converting 20 of 21 free throws in the final period.
OKC took a 1-0 lead 13 seconds after the opening tip, never led again and wound up suffering its most lopsided loss of the season.
The Nets led 55-32 in the second quarter, but the Thunder (24-7) fought back to tie the score at 85 with 7:11 remaining. OKC was then outscored 25-8 the rest of the way with Brooklyn shooting 17 for 17 from the line.
“Everyone played really well and you're not beating (OKC) in this building unless a lot of people play well,” Carlesimo said. “Could it have slipped away? Sure it could have, that's why they (were) 16-2 in this building. But we found a way to win, which is a great thing.”
The Nets came in ranked in the bottom third of the NBA is all shooting percentages, but they got hot early and the fire spread throughout the roster.
Brooklyn hit 11 of its first 15 shots, three of them 3-pointers, to take a 16-point lead in the first quarter.
En route to a 48-26 lead with 6½ minutes left in the second quarter, the Nets shot 65.5 percent (19 for 29) from the field and 66.7 percent (6 for 9) from 3-point range.
This from a team that two nights earlier shot 2 for 20 from the field while being outscored 30-5 in the third quarter of a 104-73 loss at San Antonio.
“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.”