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Thunder, Nets ready for rematch

Oklahoma City's triple-overtime win at New Jersey on Dec. 1 is one of the most memorable games of the NBA season so far. The two teams play again Wednesday in Oklahoma City Arena.
By John Rohde, Staff Writer, jrohde@opubco.com Modified: December 28, 2010 at 8:29 pm •  Published: December 28, 2010

Many consider the Dec. 1 contest between the Thunder and New Jersey Nets as perhaps the NBA game of the season.

The Thunder had a record of 12-6 at the time and the Nets were the exact opposite at 6-12, but this game held four weeks ago would finish dead-even three times before the Thunder survived with a 123-120 triple-overtime victory at the Prudential Center in Newark, N.J.

There were 19 lead changes, 13 ties, 61 fouls and 73 free throws. The contest took three hours, 21 minutes.

“We lost that game six times,” Thunder coach Scott Brooks recalled, “but we won it seven.”

The teams meet again Wednesday at 7 p.m. inside Oklahoma City Arena, and this time each will have one of its stars back.

Thunder small forward Kevin Durant and Nets point guard Devin Harris were both out with a bum knee during the last meeting.

“I had fun cheering my teammates on, but it'll be much more fun playing (Wednesday),” said Durant, the league's leading scorer (28.1).

Asked which sequence he remembered most from the last meeting, Durant chose Russell Westbrook's cross-over move at the top of the key that he converted into a conventional three-point play. “That was probably the best part of the game for me, the most exciting part,” Durant said.

Westbrook initially couldn't pick a favorite sequence. “There was a lot going on that game,” Westbrook said.

When told Durant's selection, Westbrook smiled and said, “Yeah, that might have been the turning point for me.”

Westbrook had one of the most prolific overtime periods in NBA history, scoring all 13 of his team's points in the final five-minute extra period while adding two rebounds and one steal. He finished with 38 points, 15 rebounds, nine assists (none in OT) and three steals.

Westbrook's follow when he dunked a teammate's miss and screamed while hanging on the rim has been one of this season's most frequently shown highlights. “They replay it all the time,” Thunder forward Jeff Green said. “I can't get it out of my head.”

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THUNDER VS. NETS

When: 7 p.m.

Where: Oklahoma City Arena.

TV: FS Oklahoma (Cox 37, HD Ch. 722)

Radio: WWLS 98.1-FM, WWLS 640-AM.

THREE THINGS TO KNOW

* New Jersey is 3-13 on the road this season.

* The Nets have lost 11 of their past 14 games.

* The Thunder is 9-1 after a loss.

PROJECTED STARTERS

Thunder (21-11)

Pos., Player, Ht., Pts., Reb., Ast

G, Russell Westbrook, 6-3, 22.4, 4.8, 8.1

G, Thabo Sefolosha, 6-7, 6.1, 5.2, 1.6

F, Kevin Durant, 6-9, 28.1, 6.6, 3.1

F, Jeff Green, 6-9, 16.6, 6.1, 2.1

C, Nenad Krstic, 7-0, 7.7, 4.7, 0.4

Nets (9-22)

G, Devin Harris, 6-3, 17.1, 2.7, 6.8

G, Stephen Graham, 6-6, 3.1, 1.4, 0.6

F, Travis Outlaw, 6-9, 10.4, 4.3, 1.0

F, Kris Humphries, 6-9, 8.0, 9.2, 0.9

C, Brook Lopez, 7-0, 19.3, 6.2, 1.2

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