OKLAHOMA CITY After a first quarter where the Thunder allowed 63 percent shooting, gave up 33 points, got outscored by 14 points and ultimately got beat by a scuffling Brooklyn team, Nick Collison offered this up:
"We didn't have our normal defensive presence in the first quarter and they made us pay for it."
Well, Collison is right about one thing, the Nets did make them pay, but he's off about another.
That "Normal" defensive presence in the first quarter has been pretty bad lately.
In a season where the Thunder have been improved defensively, they are in the midst of a first-quarter funk.
"We take pride in our defensive execution," coach Scott Brooks said. "It wasn't there tonight."
Brooks was talking about the entire game where the Nets got up by as much as 23 points and wound up shooting 50 percent, but he could have singled out the first quarter. Again.
In the last three games, Oklahoma City is getting beat up in the...