Thunder look to continue hot streak Tuesday vs. Nets

OKLAHOMA CITY — More than halfway through the season, the Oklahoma City Thunder are still searching for consistency.

The Thunder are riding a wave of momentum entering Tuesday’s home game against the Brooklyn Nets but know that can be fleeting.

They’ve shown that all season.

The Thunder have won four consecutive games and they’re coming off a 148-point output in Cleveland on Saturday.

Oklahoma City has gone a combined 5-2 against Golden State, Cleveland, Houston, San Antonio and Toronto — five of the best teams in the NBA.

The Thunder is 4-5 against the teams sitting in the final three spots in each conference entering Monday’s action — Atlanta, Brooklyn, Dallas, Memphis, Orlando and Sacramento.

“We know we can not only play with the teams that are considered to be the best in this league,” Thunder forward Carmelo Anthony said. “Not only play with them but win. We’re very capable of winning those games and we’ve showed that playing against the best team that we can beat the best teams.

“I don’t think that’s ever been our issue as a team, it’s beating the teams that we’re supposed to beat. Sometimes it’s night and day.”

Those struggles included a 100-95 loss to the Nets in Mexico City on Dec. 7.

While the Thunder have shown the ability to get the job done against the league’s better teams, if they aren’t able to find a way to beat the teams lower in the standings, it could be difficult to advance in the postseason.

Brooklyn enters the game having won consecutive games for the fourth time all season, hoping to win a third straight for the first time all year in the second of a five-game road trip.

The Nets have improved with the recent return of D’Angelo Russell, who continues to shake off rust after missing more than two months after having surgery on his left knee but whose presence has helped Brooklyn during this recent two-game stretch.

Another of the catalysts for the Nets’ recent success has been the uptick in production for fourth-year guard Joe Harris.

Harris has reached double figures in scoring in six consecutive games, averaging 12.1 points in the last 10 games and shooting 53.9 percent from the field.

“I’m just trying to be as efficient as possible,” Harris told the New York Post. “My job is just to create spaces on the floor, allow our ball-handlers to facilitate and have room to work and knock down shots when they’re there, and be opportunistic when you have driving lanes.

“But really my job is to create space for everybody else, (and) play tough on the defensive end.”

Of course, with the Nets well out of playoff position and Harris in the last season of his contract, his surge has made him a frequent topic of trade conversations.

“At the end of the day, you can’t really get caught up in worrying about all that stuff. It’ll drive you crazy for sure,” Harris said. “You’ve just got to live with the ambiguity.

“There’s a lot of uncertainty in the league, and you just do your part and focus on what you can control.”