The fourth quarter was a gut check.
Oklahoma City started to drain threes after making just two through the first three quarters, including two from surprise contributor Raymond Felton. After the Nets led by as many as 15 points, the Thunder surged to tie the game at 95 with under seven minutes to go.
Then, the Nets started to splash some shots of their own. Jarrett Allen and DeMarre Carroll exchanged three-pointers in another nail-biter of a finish.
Next, Ian Eagle questioned if it was Spencer Dinwiddie time, and in fact, it was. Mr. Clutch got the driving layup down with 7.8 seconds left to give Brooklyn a one-point lead, but Russell Westbrook answered with a bouncer of his own with 3.3 seconds left.
Dinwiddie got a shot off, but as he was defended by his girlfriend’s brother, Andre Roberson, the shot fell way short. What a way to go.
Losing to the Thunder 109-108 and allowing 35 points in the fourth quarter, Brooklyn’s winning streak stopped at two while Oklahoma City’s extended to five.
Seriously, does this Nets team know anything other than close finishes anymore?
Joe Harris stepped up for Brooklyn all night; the man just did not miss from three. He made five three-pointers with a team-high 19 points. It almost makes you wish he had a shot attempt in the closing moments of the game, but it is hard to complain when Dinwiddie is one of the best in the league in clutch minutes.
The Nets made their mark in the game in the second quarter, outscoring the Thunder 33-17, after Paul George scored 16 first-quarter points. Westbrook and his game-winner ended up leading the team with 32 points, and that was without a three-pointer.
The Thunder started the game shooting poorly and did not finish it much better, shooting 42.6 percent from the field and 28 percent from three. The Nets had 16 three-pointers to Oklahoma City’s seven, and that made a big difference.
What was also working for the Nets tonight was sharing the ball. Brooklyn registered 27 assists on 37 field goals, led by Dinwiddie (seven assists) and Caris LeVert (six).
Brooklyn’s bench stepped up, as it often does, with a 55-30 edge over Oklahoma City, thanks to Joe Harris and Allen.
It was a tough loss for Brooklyn, but a fun game against the fifth-best team in the West. The Nets have proven they can play nearly any team in the league evenly…well, except the Knicks.
12 PTS, 2-6 FG, 1-4 3FG, 2-2 FT, 2 REB, 4 AST, 2 TOV, 15 MIN
Hey, D’Angelo Russell is starting to look like his old self again. He led the Nets expertly with his time on the court, leading his team in +/- with a plus-12. His shot still needs from work, but it’s clear Russell’s teammates like having him on the court.
7 PTS, 3-6 FG, 1-4 3FG, 5 REB, 18 MIN
Quincy Acy was another player that stepped up in his minutes off the bench, helping Brooklyn in its runs. He was a bit shoot-happy from three, but he did get one to go down that helped boost his team. For a streaky player, Acy put up a respectable performance against the Thunder.
12 PTS, 4-6 FG, 1-1 3FG, 3-6 FT, 11 REB, 1 AST, 1 BLK, 23 MIN
Congrats on the first-career double-double, Jarrett! Of course, he notched it on his third three-pointer of the season, the Jarrett Allen way.
Besides that, Jarrett was awesome all game, snatching four offensive rebounds and getting some big second chances for his team. He also played well in clutch minutes, despite the end result.
With tougher competition, Jarrett keeps getting better.
13 PTS, 4-9 FG, 3-6 3FG, 2-2 FT, 3 REB, 7 AST, 3 TOV, 29 MIN
Dinwiddie stepped up in the closing minutes again, and at this point that is to no one’s surprise. His shot with 3.3 seconds left was a tough one since that is not much time to do anything being so closely guarded by the Thunder. There were opportunities squandered before then where the Nets could not knock down shots and Oklahoma City stepped up.
With a near-double-double, Dinwiddie is still the go-to play-maker, and he’s getting more comfortable in the role by the game.
SPENCER DINWIDDIE PUTS THE NETS UP 1 WITH 7 SECONDS LEFT!
— The Brooklyn Game (@TheBKGame) January 24, 2018