By Chad Waters
Kevin Durant faced his former team on Sunday, competing against the Thunder for the first time as a member of the Brooklyn Nets. And it was also Durant’s first time facing his former team that featured none of his former teammates in OKC. Playing without co-star Kyrie Irving (personal reasons) for a third-straight game, Durant led the Nets with 36 points, 11 rebounds, and four assists. But it wasn’t enough, as the Thunder (5-4) closed out their road trip with a 129-116 win at Brooklyn (5-6).
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander led the Thunder with 31 points, six rebounds, seven assists, and two steals. SGA got it going early for the Thunder, scoring 18 points on 7-of-8 shooting in the first half. Five other Thunder players finished with double-digit scoring: Hamidou Diallo 25 points, Al Horford 22 points, George Hill 14 points, and Lugentz Dort & Isaiah Roby 13 points each.
The Nets opened the first quarter with 41 points as it seemed the Thunder were looking forward to a flight home after what would have been a successful 13-day road trip regardless. However, the Thunder kept it close in the second quarter and steamrolled the Nets 37-18 in the third quarter. It was the Thunder’s highest-scoring quarter on the season, and the win marked the Thunder’s highest-scoring game of the season. The third quarter scoring bombardment has been a theme during OKC’s road trip, who has averaged 30 points in the third quarter in their four wins throughout the road trip.
OKC went on a 25-7 run to finish the third quarter, giving the Thunder a 94-81 advantage. The Thunder kept pushing in the fourth quarter, matching the Nets with 35 points in the fourth quarter to give OKC its third-straight win and fifth-straight victory against the Nets.
OKC continued the early-season theme as road warriors, winning all five games on the road and finishing this five-game road trip with a 4-1 record.
The Thunder begin a four-game homestand on Tuesday night against the San Antonio Spurs (5-4).