Nets Fall To Thunder, 84-74
NEWARK, N.J. (AP) — Kevin Durant had 20 points and a season-high 15 rebounds and the Oklahoma Thunder stifled the New Jersey Nets on defense in an 84-74 victory Saturday night.
Playing in his first game since signing a five-year, $80 million contract extension, Russell Westbrook added 21 points and six assists and James Harden had 16 points and nine rebounds off the bench.
Coming off a loss to lowly Washington, Oklahoma City (13-3) limited New Jersey to 31 percent shooting from the field, including 3 of 23 from 3-point range. The Thunder also blocked 10 shots, with Serge Ibaka getting a season-high five.
Kris Humphries had 12 points and 16 rebounds to lead the Nets. Deron Williams and MarShon Brooks had 14 points apiece and Jordan Farmar added 13.
The victory was the Thunder’s sixth straight against the Nets (4-12), and this one never seemed in doubt after Oklahoma City used a 17-2 spurt in the final six minutes of the first quarter to take a 28-14 lead.
Durant, who had 12 points in the quarter, started the run with a steal and a jam. Westbrook followed with a floater and Kendrick Perkins scored on a dunk from Durant to give the Thunder a 17-12 lead.
After Humphries made a layup, Oklahoma City ran off 11 straight points with Durant scoring the first two baskets and Westbrook making a shot in the lane. A 3-pointer by Reggie Jackson and a steal and a dunk by Durant pushed the lead to 28-14.
A four-point play by Anthony Morrow at the end of the quarter got the Nets within 10, but Oklahoma City kept them at arm’s length the rest of the way.
New Jersey got within 40-33 late in the second quarter before the Thunder scored eight straight points with the most impressive play being an ally-oop dunk by Durant on a pass from Westbrook.
Oklahoma City pushed their lead to 17 points early in the third quarter and New Jersey never challenged again.
The only interesting thing that happened down the stretch was Westbrook picked up a technical foul for mouthing off to the officials for not getting a foul call on a layup attempt on which he seemingly was nudged.
Notes: Durant’s career high for rebounds is 18. … When Nets F DeShawn Stevenson tipped in a shot in the second quarter, it was his first two-point field goal of the season. He had hit a dozen 3-pointers in his first 13 games. … Ibaka and Perkins have recorded at least one block apiece in each of the Thunder’s 16 games. Oklahoma City is the only team with two players with a block in every game. … The Thunder are 7-2 on the road and 4-1 vs. the East. … Humphries lost a basket in the third quarter when his dunk was reviewed and nullified by a shot clock violation.
(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.)