NEW YORK — The Oklahoma City Thunder wouldn’t blame the blizzard that delayed their game and kept Kevin Durant stuck in his hotel for 36 hours.
Their real problem Sunday was Brook Lopez.
Lopez scored a season-high 31 points and grabbed 10 rebounds, and the Brooklyn Nets snapped the Thunder’s seven-game winning streak with a 116-106 victory.
"It was a tough loss but that’s what happens in this league," Durant said. "You come on the road and you’re not locked in from the beginning and you lose the game."
Durant had 32 points, 10 rebounds and seven assists, but Oklahoma City never led in the game that was delayed four hours by the blizzard that dumped more than 2 feet of snow on New York on Saturday.
The Thunder decided not to try to scramble to find a facility where they could have a morning workout Sunday and maybe that contributed to their lack of sharpness, though coach Billy Donovan credited the Nets instead.
"They dealt with the same circumstances we had to deal with," Donovan said. "So both teams dealt with the weather, but to say that that impacted us would be making an excuse and I think it would be taking away from how well Brooklyn played."
Russell Westbrook finished with 27 points, 11 rebounds and seven assists as the Thunder lost for just the fifth time in 27 games.
Taking advantage of a Thunder team missing starting centre Steven Adams, Lopez shot 11 for 19 from the field in bouncing back from one of his worst performances of the season. He had been limited to just eight points Friday in a loss to Utah.
"We just weren’t happy with the way we’ve played the last however-many games. There’s a good amount of them," Lopez said. "Utah was kind of the capper. I know for me personally it was just an ugly, ugly game and we wanted to come out and erase our memory of that."
Lopez, who the Nets nearly dealt to the Thunder last season before Oklahoma City acquired Enes Kanter, averaged 28.5 points in the two meetings this season.
"Obviously being short-handed without Steve it’s hard for us, but we would’ve liked to have done better against him for sure," said Nick Collison, who started at centre and had just three points and four rebounds.
"We weren’t able to take away anything that he wanted to do, so that was disappointing."
Bojan Bogdanovic added 18 points off the bench and Thaddeus Young had 14 points and 14 rebounds for the Nets, who snapped their five-game losing streak.
The Nets shot 57 per cent in the first quarter, matched their best half of the season in taking a 60-52 lead at the break, extended it to 13 in the third quarter and never let it get closer than five in the fourth.
Thunder: The Thunder lost for the first time in 10 games this season when both Durant and Westbrook have double-doubles. … Starting guard Anthony Roberson missed the second half because of a sprained right knee. He was hurt when Westbrook missed a reverse layup and fell into Roberson’s knee.
Nets: Joe Johnson became the 31st player in NBA history to reach 40,000 minutes. He is eighth among active players. … It was the Nets’ highest point total in regulation this season.
NEW YORK STATE OF MIND
The Thunder arrived at their hotel about 4 a.m. Saturday, not long after the storm had started, and with all the snow and travel restrictions, Durant said he didn’t leave it again until getting on the team bus about 4 p.m. Sunday. "Doesn’t feel like we’re in New York City," he said. He still has time to enjoy it. The Thunder will be in the city a couple more days before visiting the Knicks on Tuesday.
Adams had an MRI that revealed a sprained right elbow. Donovan said he believed the injury happened when Adams dunked in pregame warmups Friday against Dallas and that Adams was in a lot of pain. He will probably miss the final two games of the road trip and there is no timetable for his return, though Donovan said they don’t believe surgery will be necessary.
Thunder: Visit New York on Tuesday.
Nets: Host Miami on Tuesday