NBA Preview from The Sports Network
Thursday, January 2nd (All times Eastern)
Brooklyn Nets (10-21) at Oklahoma City Thunder (25-6), 8 p.m.
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Oklahoma City Thunder will try to get back into the win column on Thursday night when they welcome the Brooklyn Nets to Chesapeake Energy Arena.
The Thunder had a three-game winning streak erased on Tuesday night when the Portland Trail Blazers came to Oklahoma City and left with a 98-94 victory. It was the Thunder's second home loss in their last three and only their second home loss of the season.
The battle of two of the NBA's best once again went to Portland, which knocked off the Thunder at home on Dec. 4.
"If we would have won this basketball game we wouldn't have came in here celebrating like we won the championship," said OKC forward Kevin Durant. "So we're not going to hang our heads because we lost."
Durant, the reigning Western Conference Player of the Week, scored a game-high 37 points, however, just one in the fourth quarter, to go along with 14 rebounds for the Thunder.
Serge Ibaka had 17 points and three blocks, while Reggie Jackson netted 12 points with seven rebounds and six assists in the loss.
The Thunder still share the best record in the NBA with the Indiana Pacers and have gone 20-3 since Nov. 16.
The Nets have lost six of their last seven and four straight on the road. While they have to be considered one of the league's biggest disappointments this season, they will mercifully end a brutal road trip which saw losses to the Pacers and San Antonio Spurs.
The Spurs crushed the Nets, 113-92, at the AT&T Center on Tuesday. San Antonio led by 30 heading into the final frame before easing up a bit on a broken down Brooklyn squad.
"It's embarrassing," said Paul Pierce, who had 13 points in the loss. "I don't know if I've been a part of this many blowouts in one season. At some point, we better have our pride."
Mason Plumlee and Shaun Livingston shared high-scorer honors for the Nets with 15 apiece. Pierce and Alan Anderson both had 13 points and Mirza Teletovic finished with 12.
Andrei Kirilenko returned to the lineup for the first time since Nov. 8. The Russian bench player had a back issue and managed four points in 10 minutes on Tuesday.
The Nets head home for four straight after Thursday's game.
The Thunder have won seven of the last eight encounters with the Nets and are 10-3 at home in the last 13 of this series.
01/02 10:32:12 ET