OKLAHOMA CITY — It may be finally starting to dawn on Oklahoma City just how tough this season is going to be. Despite having the best record in the NBA, it has not been a smooth ride.
That path got a little bumpier Wednesday when a struggling Brooklyn squad came to town. The Nets ended Oklahoma City’s 12 game home win streak with a 110-93 victory at Chesapeake Energy Arena. In the process they frustrated a Thunder squad with their physical play.
“Teams are going to make shots on us,” Kevin Durant said. “Every team that comes in here seems to have it out for us. Guys that usually don’t make shots, make shots against us. When you are Western Conference Champs and make it to the finals, everybody wants a piece of us, everybody wants to beat us. We know teams are going to give us their best shot.”
After falling behind by 23 points in the first half, the Thunder stormed back in the second half to make a game of it. In the fourth, Oklahoma City tied the contest at 85-85 on consecutive 3-pointers from Durant and Kevin Martin with seven minutes left in the game.
However, Joe Johnson answered with a jumper over Durant and Keith Bogans was fouled and knocked down to free throws to start an 8-0 run for the Nets.
Oklahoma City was unable to get any closer as Brooklyn continued to have its way. With 1:57 left in the game, Durant was ejected and Oklahoma City coach Scott Brooks emptied his bench.
Joe Johnson led all scorers with 33 points on 11-of-19 shooting and took the Thunder’s defense tactic as a personal challenge.
“When you get a couple of easy buckets, the basket just gets a little bigger,” Johnson said. “I notice they were playing me one on one straight up. There wasn’t any double-team. So I just tried to take advantage.”