Nets set NBA record for fewest rebounds in blowout loss to Thunder
Good thing Richard Sherman wasn't at Barclays Center again Friday night.
If so, the Seahawks cornerback could have described the Nets' effort with the same one-word description he utilized for Michael Crabtree in his infamous postgame rant two weeks ago: mediocre.
And if he had, it would have been overly positive.
The Nets put forth a putrid effort against Oklahoma City, the very team they took down early last month, fueling a stretch in which they won all but two of their 12 January games entering the night.
The Nets were outclassed from the opening tip, fell behind by 31 points in the first half, heard hearty boos from a disappointed sellout crowd and were dismantled, 120-95.
It was a numbing way to begin a stretch of three games in four days that continues Saturday night against the Pacers in Indianapolis.
With only 17 rebounds, the Nets set a record for fewest boards in an NBA game. They also allowed the Thunder to shoot 49-for-77 (63.6 percent), led by Serge Ibaka's 12-for-12 and Kevin Durant's 10-for-12.
"Man, I just think we came out flat on both ends," Paul Pierce said. "It seems like they looked like the team that had the three-day layoff and I guess the rest that we got this week did more harm than good. They really took it to us . . . They came in like a team that was hungry, on a nine-game win streak, and we just didn't respond to it tonight.''
Durant netted 22 of his 26 points in the first half to pace the Thunder (38-10), which won its 10th straight. Ibaka added 25. But Durant's streak of games with at least 30 points ended at 12, only because things were so out of hand that he was glued to the bench for the entire fourth quarter.
"Crazy. What he's doing right now, it's crazy," said Deron Williams, who came off the bench for the sixth straight game but had four turnovers and never got the Nets' offense into a flow. "At the end of the year, it's going to be hard to argue that he's not the MVP of this league . . . He's carrying the team without [Russell] Westbrook and he's one of the best scorers I've ever seen."
No doubt, the Nets (20-24) missed the defensive acumen of Andrei Kirilenko, who sat out with a strained right calf.
The Nets got frustrated early and resorted to constant complaining to officials and dropping their heads after missed shots or turnovers, showing the kind of bad body language prevalent during their two-month swoon.
Offensively, the Nets had no rhythm. They mustered only three assists on their 13 first-half field goals, a sign they were involved in a bit too much one-on-one play.
"Of late, the past few games, man, we haven't had great ball movement," Joe Johnson said. "We haven't been making that extra pass and penetrating and finding the right guys."
"We haven't been doing that and it definitely hurt us. Some way, somehow, we've got to get back to playing very good, unselfish basketball and playing smart."
If they don't, this two-game losing streak could snowball and morph into another rough patch.
"We've just got to move on," Pierce said. "That's all it is. We've got to have resolve. We are going on the road against another tough Indiana team, and we've got to have some fight and be ready for the challenge. Put this one behind us. It was a tough game. Things didn't go our way on both ends of the court. [Saturday night] is another opportunity to make up ground against one of the better teams in the NBA, and we'll be up for the challenge."
Notes & quotes: Andray Blatche came out of the game in the third quarter with a bruised left hip and didn't return. Blatche, who had a severe limp after the game, said he would travel with the team to Indianapolis. "Hopefully . . . it's something I can get treatment for and play [Saturday night],'' he said. . . . Johnson was somewhat surprised he was selected as an Eastern Conference All-Star reserve, but he is pleased to be named to the team for the seventh time in his career. "It never gets old, man," Johnson said. "Ask guys like KG and Paul Pierce, who have been All-Stars for 15, 16, 17 years. It never gets old because it's kind of a time when you can rest, but you also get to see a different side of guys who you compete against, so it's always fun."