After the Nets ’Big 3 announced their most impressive win, after Kairi Irving returned from COVID exile last week, they fell to just one superstar against the Thunder on Thursday night.
On the one-year anniversary of the trade with the Rockets, which brought James Harden to Brooklyn, he could not line up without Irvings (because of New York City’s COVID vaccination mandates) and Kevin Durant without winning at the Nets ’home. sud.
Harden’s 26 points and nine assists were almost not enough as the tired and managed Nets hit a 130-109 shot by the Thunder at the Barclays Center for their sixth defeat in nine games.
Shay Gilgeous-Alexander had 33 points with 10 rebounds and 9 assists, and Luguentz Dort had 27 points, followed by Oklahoma City with 22 points in the third quarter and 17 points in fourth place.
Harden was tied in just 7 of 22 attempts from the floor, but he scored a pair of 3 points early in the fourth game and hit 13-4, with Kem Thomas ’left-wing shot (21 points) 104 closed in. 96, 8:28 left.
Thunder (14-27) responded with freshmen Josh Giddey (19 points), Dort and Gilgeous-Alexander’s long-range buckets, returning the lead to 18 by 5:30 p.m.
Ahead of the game, coach Steve Nash disagreed with his suggestion that the Nets should score 40 points more than Irving and NBA top scorer Durant Harden for the Nets (26-15).
“I would never say that,” he said. But I want James to be aggressive, to play, to put pressure on the defense. I think James thinks the same, ”Nash said. “So he enjoys the opportunity to gather his teammates and prove that they can win this game, no matter who they are or who they aren’t.
“And for me, if he continues to improve himself this year and is very aggressive and prone to attack, it will make me happy, whether he’s 25 or 40.”
The Nets still didn’t have Nick Claxton and LaMarcus Aldridge (legs), so new head coach Day’Ron Sharp started the second game in a row. But he followed the best 20-point move of his career in Chicago on Wednesday with a quiet game, finishing with four points in 20 minutes.
The Nets are playing their fourth game in five nights, allowing them to score 70 of their 24 points in the first half, lifting 11 of their 24 points (a total of 20) and 19 points. looked like a humble team playing its fourth game of the night. prefers a break.
Gilgeous-Alexander personally scored 12-0 in the first quarter, while at one point in the period he scored 16 points for Oklahoma City. He finished the first half with 21 points and 7 assists, Dort had 19 and Mike Muscala had 3 triplets and 11 points.
Harden pulled the Nets with 16 goals in the half, but he missed eight of 12 shots in two quarters. Other Nets starters – Sharp, Kessler Edwards, Bruce Brown and DeAndre Bambri – scored eight points before the break.
“Of course, these are not just beginners. There are a lot of guys who haven’t played recently. It’s a great opportunity for them, ”Nash said in advance. “We had a hard time traveling here. It’s important that we find a way to compete and try to win this game and show the character and toughness needed to get through this game. “
The Nets closed the 22-point hole in the third quarter with 10, David Duke Jr. (13 points) had several shots from long range, and Brown also contributed six points in the session. But Gilgeous-Alexander and Darius Bazley (16 points) combined for 11 of 15-8 runs to close the quarter for a 100-83 game that entered the final period.