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A Little Different Than Last Time | December
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What a difference a month can make.

Actually, it isn't even quite a full month. Although, the calendar date was not the only difference. This time, the game was in our house. This time, we didn't blow a lead. And this time, our future league MVP was healthy and in the lineup.

Those were all much bigger differences than the number on the calendar.

When the Oklahoma City Thunder last played the New Jersey Nets, the game became an instant classic. Both teams fought back and forth to force triple overtime in a game eventually won by the Thunder, 123-120. Kevin Durant watched the game from the sidelines as Russell Westbrook and Jeff Green absolutely took over. This time was different.

The Thunder once again defeated the Nets, but by a much wider margin. Oklahoma City took down New Jersey, 114-93, and held a lead of 25 points in the second half. The Nets never came within single digits after half time of this blowout. 

But this big win didn't have all that much to do with the lowly Nets. The way the Thunder played in this one, their opponent may not have mattered. Had they played like this against the Dallas Mavericks the other night, they would most likely have come out on top in that one as well. They were just that good last night. 

From a team standpoint, the Thunder dished out a season high 31 assists and registered their second highest field goal percentage night (54.4) of the season. They also caused a team season high 23 turnovers by their opponents, which led to 23 points. The team also proved that they do not want to find out what losing streaks feel like, as they are now 10-1 following a loss.

While they were uncharacteristically bad from the free throw line (18-27), the Thunder got production from many different players. Durant scored a game high 27 points while Westbrook added 17 points and 7 assists. Nenad Kristic had 10 points and Thabo Sefolosha recorded 8 rebounds. The Thunder also got some key minutes from the reserves, including 10 points and 7 rebounds from Nick Collison and 11 points from James Harden. 

Oklahoma City will finish off the calendar year with a home game on New Year's Eve against the Atlanta Hawks. It will be a good test before they start a brutal road trip out west beginning with a New Year's night test against the San Antonio Spurs.





 

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