NEW YORK (AP) — James Harden had the look of a person who wanted relaxation, even earlier than explaining how he felt.
“Tired,” he stated. “Exhausted.”
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That wasn’t as a result of he simply performed a basketball sport.
The Nets are worn down from a tough stretch of journey, then had been overwhelmed down by the Oklahoma City Thunder.
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander had 33 factors, 10 rebounds and 9 assists, Lu Dort scored 27 factors and the Thunder ran by the Nets 130-109 on Thursday night time.
Rookie guard Josh Giddey added 19 factors for the Thunder, who jumped on a weary Nets group to snap a five-game dropping streak with their first victory in 2022. They hadn’t received since beating New York at residence on New Year’s Eve.
But with NBA scoring chief Kevin Durant resting, the Thunder led comfortably for many of the final three quarters and improved to 14-27 on the midpoint of their schedule.
“I think we just had it clicking,” Darius Bazley stated. “Shai got off to a crazy start, Lu had it going. We were just firing on all cylinders.”
Oklahoma City made a season-high 20 3-pointers and had a season-best 32 assists.
Harden had 26 factors, 9 assists and 7 rebounds for the Nets, who couldn’t muster sufficient vitality after their 138-112 rout of the East-leading Bulls in Chicago on Wednesday night time.
They had Kyrie Irving for that sport however not Thursday, as he stays ineligible to play in New York City whereas unvaccinated in opposition to the coronavirus.
That left solely Harden among the many Nets’ Big Three, taking part in with two rookie starters and two extra taking part in key roles off the bench.
Cam Thomas, one of many rookie reserves, added 21 factors. Brooklyn fell to 11-11 at residence.
The Nets had been taking part in their fourth sport in 5 days, a stretch that started with a house victory Sunday over San Antonio and a loss the subsequent night time in Portland. That made the Nets the primary group since Detroit in 1973 to play within the Eastern and Pacific time zones on consecutive days and it appeared to have sapped them by the point they returned residence once more.
Harden stated he bought residence round 5 a.m. on Thursday, lastly falling asleep a pair hours later.
Gilgeous-Alexander scored 12 straight factors, sending the Thunder from two factors down right into a 21-11 lead. He had 16 consecutive Oklahoma City factors and the Thunder led 38-26 after one quarter.
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His three-point play gave Oklahoma City a 21-point lead with 1:08 left within the half and it was 70-51 on the break.
Mike Muscala stated the Thunder have struggled getting off to good begins however knew they might leap on a short-handed group Thursday.
“We definitely talked about that, just trying to really be the aggressor tonight and come out and deliver that punch,” he stated.
The lead grew to 22 within the third quarter, although Brooklyn bought it to 104-96 with about 8 1/2 minutes to play. The Thunder shortly ran off a 14-4 spurt, capped by consecutive 3-pointers from Dort and Gilgeous-Alexander that made it 118-100.
Thunder: Bazley scored 16 factors. … The Thunder snapped a five-game street dropping streak.
Nets: Brooklyn remained with out massive males LaMarcus Aldridge (sore proper foot) and Nic Claxton (left hamstring tightness). … Durant remained the main vote-getter amongst Eastern Conference gamers within the second fan returns of All-Star voting introduced Thursday. He has greater than 4 million votes.
REST FOR THE WEARY
Brooklyn coach Steve Nash stated the Nets had been being cautious in deciding to relaxation Durant and Patty Mills, who has needed to play extra minutes than anticipated with Irving taking part in solely three video games and Joe Harris recovering from ankle surgical procedure.
“I think those guys have just played so much and they have so much responsibility in the games recently that it’s just, it wouldn’t be smart for them to play tonight,” Nash stated.
OKC IN NYC
The Thunder have received seven straight in New York. They haven’t misplaced on the street to both the Knicks or Nets since December 2017.
Thunder: Host the Cleveland Cavaliers on Saturday.
Nets: Host the New Orleans Pelicans on Saturday.
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