Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 12/4/12
NEW YORK -- The Oklahoma City Thunder came in hot and looked flat-out steaming for most of the first three quarters, but the Brooklyn Nets made them work to the end for their sixth consecutive victory. The Thunder shot 60.6 percent from the field and did not miss a free throw until the final moments. But they still somehow couldn't shake the Nets, who hit one clutch 3-pointer after the other to nudge themselves back in the game. Finally, thanks to 32 points from Kevin Durant and 25 from Russell Westbrook, the Thunder held on for a 117-111 victory Tuesday night at the Barclays Center. The Thunder won for the 14th time in their last 16 games, and they beat the Nets for the seventh consecutive game. Brooklyn, playing without injured center Brook Lopez for the third game in a row and also missing Reggie Evans, out with the flu, could only take solace in offering a tough test to a defending NBA finalist for the second straight game. "They had three all-stars on the court. We ain't gonna feel sorry for them," Durant said with a smile of the Nets. "They are a tough team to stop, they are well-coached, they execute everything, play physical and I am glad we came here and got a win." Oklahoma City, which won by an average of 25 points in its previous four games and led by 16 in the third quarter and 10 in the fourth, couldn't put away the pesky Nets. Deron Williams led the Nets with 33 points, and Andray Blatche did a good job of filling in for Lopez, contributing 19 points and 11 rebounds. The Nets closed to within 108-106 with 2:14 left on a jumper by Joe Johnson, who scored eight of his 17 points in the fourth quarter. Durant, who burned the Nets through much of the last three quarters, then drove to the basket and Kris Humphries was called for goaltending, giving the Thunder a 110-106 lead on a close call that was reviewed by the officials. "I always want to be a go-to guy in the fourth, that's what I live for," said Durant, adding he also likes to set up teammates down the stretch. Humphries' hand was ruled to have touched the ball after it hit the backboard, and multiple replays made it difficult to determine if he had hit the ball before or after it hit the board. "It was as close as it could be," Humphries said, adding that an official had echoed those words. The Nets would get no closer. Oklahoma City's Thabo Sefolosha swooped in to swipe an offensive rebound after the ball bounced back onto the court, and he scored for a 112-106 lead with 36 seconds left to all but seal the game. "That was a huge play, to get that offensive rebound and lay it up," Durant said. The Thunder led 96-86 with 10:18 left, but Williams hit two 3-pointers and Humphries and Johnson combined to score 14 points down the stretch to cut the lead to two in the final minutes. Trailing by as many as 16 and seemingly set to get steamrolled by the Thunder's sharpshooting, the Nets suddenly sprang back into the game late in the third quarter. Gerald Wallace's fourth 3-pointer in three minutes brought the Nets within 88-86 with 48 seconds left in the third, as his outside barrage coupled with five points from Jerry Stackhouse keyed a 17-9 run. Earlier in the third, Williams led the Nets back, with nine points during an 11-4 spurt, including a scoop to cut the Thunder's lead to 77-68 with 6:01 left in the period. "Deron was aggressive," Nets coach Avery Johnson said. "He spent a lot of time after practice shooting the ball. ... Deron was much more aggressive tonight and that's what we needed." The Thunder opened up some breathing room late in a tight first half. They went on a 16-4 run to take a 54-42 lead with 2:53 left before the break, when Westbrook hit a 3-pointer. Durant had started the run by scoring seven consecutive points, including a layup off a spin move sweet enough to have the Nets fans gasp and all but cheer. He would score another seven in a row at the end of the half, leading the Thunder to a 61-48 halftime lead. The last stretch included a pair of foul shots after a missed dunk, though replays indicated Nets defender Blatche had established his position to take a charge. For the growing Nets (11-6), it was a learning experience to battle the Thunder following their loss to the defending NBA champion Miami Heat. "These are two teams that have been together for a long period of time and have won at the highest level; they know how to play well together and we're still trying to figure things out," Williams said. "We've had a couple good wins, but these last two losses kind of humble you." NOTES: Lopez was out for the third consecutive game with a sprained right foot. He is day-to-day. ... Evans is expected back Friday. ... Avery Johnson, who led the Nets to a franchise-best 11 wins in November, was selected the Eastern Conference Coach of the Month. ... Westbrook fell to the floor with 8:42 left in the game, when Wallace's leg caught him in the head on a foul, but the Thunder guard remained in the game.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

LeBron James says Kevin Love-Celtics trade rumor is false

Michael Jordan gifts Kobe Bryant full set of Air Jordans

Bethune-Cookman football player killed at party

Former UFC heavyweight Kevin Randleman dead at 44

WATCH: Chelsea scores three goals in less than 20 minutes

Broncos safety Shiloh Keo arrested for DUI

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Mountain West admits error, says Boise St. shot was good

WATCH: John Calipari loses his mind, gets ejected

Former Clemson star Tajh Boyd to speak at John Kasich rally

Peyton Manning's alleged not-so-wholesome image

Hawks not shopping Al Horford at NBA trade deadline

Report: Lincecum has been throwing in secret location

Dallas Stars have passed the early tests in February

Could Matt Forte become the revival for Patriots run game?

Are the Celtics legimate contenders in the East?

WATCH: Jabari Parker is no joke at NBA Rising Stars Challenge

How Marvelous Marv Throneberry became a Met

WATCH: Filip Forsberg goes beast on Lightning with this goal

Carmelo Anthony on trade rumors: ‘I’m not going anywhere’

Report: Cavaliers shopping Kevin Love, price tag very high

Magic remain tough team to beat

WATCH: Pitt's James Conner works out after cancer diagnosis

CC Sabathia on the outside looking in for the Yankees

Prediction time: NHL award winners

Brook Lopez is the NBA's most underrated big man

NBA News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Ranking the ten best free agent pitcher signings

Who had the best NBA All-Star Game of the last 40 years?

The winners and losers of the 2016 MLB offseason

On Kobe Bryant and taking greatness for granted

Bucks need to choose between wins, development

Fantasy booking WrestleMania 32

Unrestricted free agents each team must consider re-signing

QUIZ: Name the winners of the NBA Slam Dunk Contest

Thank you Daniel Bryan

The timeless greatness of Jaromir Jagr

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker