The Thunder was in a foul mood during the fourth quarter of its 110-93 loss to the Brooklyn Nets at Chesapeake Energy Arena on Wednesday night.
En route to ending OKC's 12-game home-court winning streak, Brooklyn went 20 for 21 at the free-throw line in the final period while the Thunder was just 4 for 6.
After battling back from a 23-point deficit to tie the score at 85 with 7:11 remaining, OKC was outscored 25-8 the rest of the way with the Nets scoring 17 points at the line.
The Thunder (24-7) was whistled for 12 fouls in the fourth quarter while the Nets (17-15) were called for four, two of which were intentional and came in the final minute.
OKC entered the contest leading the NBA in free-throw shooting (84.7 percent), free throws made per game (23.3) and is second in free throws attempted per game (27.5).
Against the Nets, however, the Thunder finished just 13 for 17 (76.5 percent) at the line compared to Brooklyn shooting 25 for 29 (86.2 percent). Take away forward Reggie Evans (1 for 4) and the Nets were 24 for 25 (96.0 percent) from the line.
With 1:57 left in the game, Thunder center Kendrick Perkins was called for an offensive foul and on in-bound play while setting screen for teammate Kevin Durant.
Durant voiced his objection to the call and simultaneously waved off game official Dan Crawford, who slapped Durant with a technical foul. Durant repeated his objection, waved off Crawford again and was ejected for receiving a second technical.
It was Durant's first career ejection.
On Monday night against the Phoenix Suns, the Thunder set an OKC franchise record with just five turnovers. The previous season-low was 10.
“We'd love to repeat that,” Thunder coach Scott Brooks said after Wednesday's shoot-around in preparation for Brooklyn.
Not even close. The Thunder committed its fifth turnover at the 9:28 mark of the second quarter against the Nets and finished with 20, which led to 30 points for Brooklyn.
OKC point guard Russell Westbrook finished with six turnovers and Durant had five.
The Nets entered the contest ranked 21st in field-goal shooting at 43.7 percent, 22nd in free-throw shooting at 73.4 percent and 24th in 3-point shooting at 33.9 percent.
Against OKC, however, Brooklyn shot 50.0 percent from the field, 86.2 percent from the line and 52.9 percent from 3-point range.
“They picked us apart,” Durant said of the Nets. “They were making 3s, hitting jumpers and they were hot … so you've got to give them credit.”
FREE THROW CHAMP
Glenn Cerny of Newcastle High School defeated Thomas Ayers of Pryor High School to become the Oklahoma Basketball Coaches Association state high school free throw champion.
Cerny made 17 of 20 free throws in the finals at halftime while Ayers made 16 of 20.
Brooklyn is now 4-13 against teams with winning records and 13-2 against teams with losing records. … The Thunder is 10-4 against Eastern Conference teams, with 5-2 records at home and on the road. … The Nets scored 67 points in the first (33) and fourth (34) quarters, and 43 in the second (28) and third (15). … In this season's previous meeting, the Nets outscored the Thunder 18-2 in second-chance points. On Wednesday, they outscored OKC 7-4.
Brooklyn coach P.J. Carlesimo on the defense that Nets forward Gerald Wallace played against Durant, who finished with 27 points, five rebounds, five assists, five turnovers and two steals before getting ejected: “Gerald did as good of a job as you can do, and KD still almost goes for 30 and shoots 11 for 17 (from the field).”
BY JOHN ROHDE