National Basketball Association
Thunder-Nets Preview
National Basketball Association

Thunder-Nets Preview

Updated Mar. 4, 2020 10:36 p.m. ET

The massive winter storm that's leveled New York City and much of the East Coast had placed Sunday afternoon's game between the Oklahoma City Thunder and Brooklyn Nets in question.

It may have been the Nets' only chance to stop one of the NBA's hottest teams.

The contest is expected to go on as scheduled, with the Thunder aiming to extend their season-high winning streak and deal the hapless Nets a sixth consecutive loss.

Oklahoma City (33-12) arrived in the New York metro area early Saturday morning, hours after recording a seventh straight victory with Friday's 109-106 win over Dallas that opened a four-game trip. One more would give the Thunder their longest unbeaten stretch since a 10-game run from Jan. 16-31, 2014.


Presuming the game isn't ultimately called off, the odds will be heavily in their favor to lengthen the streak. Brooklyn (11-33) has lost five straight and 10 of 11 and won't be drawing a favorable matchup with the Thunder, the league's second-highest scoring team at 108.6 points per game.

The Nets rank 29th in that category (95.1 ppg) and have been held under 90 points seven times during their 1-10 stretch. They're struggling badly on the defensive end as well, having permitted 107.3 points per game and 51.2 percent shooting in seven games under interim coach Tony Brown.

Utah shot 57.3 percent overall and went 16 of 22 while outscoring the Nets 37-17 in the third quarter en route to Friday's 108-86 rout at Barclays Center, Brooklyn's 13th loss in its last 14 at home.

''They made shots, we didn't. The same song and story as it's been the last couple of games," forward Thaddeus Young said. "We get off to good starts and have good first halves and then the second half, we'll have two crucial turnovers that kind of turns the game and it just slips away from us.''

The Thunder outscored Dallas 37-18 in the third quarter to take an 85-74 lead into the fourth, then held on after the Mavericks cut a 17-point deficit down to one in the final minute.

"There was some adversity," coach Billy Donovan said. "I felt like our guys stuck together. They played together and played for each other. That was encouraging to see because on the road, you're going to have to play together and stick together. Adversity is going to come in one form or another. Whatever it is, you have to be able to handle it collectively."

Oklahoma City also had to deal with the absence of center Steven Adams, who'll miss Sunday's game as well with a sprained right elbow.

That could play a factor in this one, as the Nets owned a 66-44 advantage in the paint when the teams met in Oklahoma City on Nov. 25. Brooklyn shot just 27.5 percent outside of it, however, and the Thunder shot 52.6 percent overall in earning a 110-99 win.

Brook Lopez scored 26 points for the Nets but managed only eight with three rebounds against Utah. Joe Johnson has just 11 points in two games after matching a season high with 22 in Sunday's 112-100 loss at Toronto.

The Nets did sweep last season's home-and-home series with Oklahoma City, though Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook missed both with injuries. Durant had 30 points and Westbrook 27 with 13 assists and five steals in the most recent matchup.


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