OKLAHOMA CITY —
Deron Williams scored 19 points and dished out 13 assists for the Nets (17-15). Brook Lopez added 25 points.
Durant led Oklahoma City (24-7) with 27 points on 11-of-17 shooting. Russell Westbrook chipped in with 26 points and 10 assists in the loss.
For one of the few times this season, Oklahoma City shot fewer free throw attempts than its opponent. While the Nets were 25 of 29 from the line, the Thunder attempted only 17, which led to Durant’s early exit.
“I told him it was a bad call,” an upset Durant said. “I think I’m allowed to be frustrated. Especially in this league with the ups and downs. Players are allowed to be frustrated.”
Johnson and Lopez had their way early with the Thunder’s defense. Lopez took advantage of Kendrick Perkins in the low post while Johnson had his midrange jumper going.
Brooklyn held a 33-19 advantage heading into the second quarter.
The Nets pushed their lead to 23 midway through the second as Oklahoma City continued to struggle defensively. It was the most points the Thunder have trailed by the entire season.
Oklahoma City slowly crept back into the game in the third quarter behind Westbrook’s offensive wizardry and overall team defense. The shots the Nets had been getting in the first half were taken away completely by swarming Oklahoma City defenders.
The Thunder held the Nets to 15 points in the third quarter and trailed by only four heading into the fourth quarter.
“I knew we were going to battle back,” Brooks said. “We’ve always done that. That’s our DNA — we’re going to always fight back to the last possession. But they were much better than us tonight.”
Michael KinneyFollow me @firstname.lastname@example.org