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Nets aim to slow down visiting Thunder
(Sports Network) - Few teams have been able to slow down the Oklahoma City Thunder this season, but the Brooklyn Nets figure to offer one of the better challenges.
The NBA's top-scoring club meets one of the league's best defending groups on Tuesday night as the streaking Thunder visit the Nets, owners of an impressive home winning streak.
Oklahoma City is averaging 105.1 points per game, the most of any team in the league, and has topped 100 points in nine straight games. The Thunder are also 9-0 on the season when five or more players reach double figures, improving on both stats with Saturday's 100-79 win over the New Orleans Hornets.
Kevin Durant had 20 points and grabbed eight rebounds despite sitting out the entire fourth quarter, while Russell Westbrook had 18 points, 10 assists, five rebounds and three steals in the Thunder's fifth straight win, which matches a season high.
Kevin Martin ended with 19 points, Nick Collison added 12 and Kendrick Perkins chipped in 10 in the victory.
"If you contest shots in this league you usually make the teams miss, and this is what we did tonight," Thunder coach Scott Brooks said. "We did a good job rebounding, and it was just a good offensive game and defensive game for us."
Oklahoma City has outscored its opponents by an average of 25.0 points per game and has the league's highest scoring differential at 9.8 points.
The Nets will look to challenge those numbers on Tuesday and are holding opponents to 91.1 points per game, ranked second-best in the NBA. They had yielded just 83.8 ppg over a five-game win streak, but had that run snapped with a 102-89 setback to the hosting Miami Heat.
Brooklyn scored a season-low 30 points in the second half and played a second game in a row without starting center Brook Lopez because of a foot injury.
"It was a tale of two halves. We just seemed to have worn down a little bit," said Nets coach Avery Johnson. "We made some mistakes that were kind of uncharacteristic of us. In the third quarter we turned the ball over too much and they capitalized on it."
Andray Blatche stepped in for Lopez with a team-high 20 points along with eight rebounds, while Gerald Wallace had 13 points and a season-best nine rebounds. Deron Williams ended with 10 points and 12 assists in the setback.
After wrapping a three-game road trip, the Nets play the first of four in a row at home on Tuesday. They have won six straight in Brooklyn and are 7-1 as the host in 2012-23, their best start at home since going 8-1 in 2002-03.
However, the Nets have lost six straight to the Thunder since a 103-99 overtime victory at home on Jan. 12 2009.
12/04 10:37:21 ET
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