Published January 08, 2015
(SportsNetwork.com) - When the Seattle SuperSonics picked up and left for Oklahoma City, their first season as the Thunder was a rough one.
The Thunder set up camp in the Sooner State in 2008-09 and got off to a putrid 3-29 start en route to a 23-59 finish. It was Kevin Durant's second year in the league and things have obviously turned out better since.
Durant (foot) is currently sidelined, and so is Russell Westbrook (hand), and Oklahoma City has struggled to a 3-10 opening to the 2014-15 campaign. The Thunder have lost four in a row and hope to find some success on this upcoming four-game homestand, starting with Friday's matchup versus the Brooklyn Nets.
The Thunder suffered a 107-100 road loss Wednesday against the Denver Nuggets, as Serge Ibaka posted 22 points and 13 rebounds to lead the way. Reggie Jackson finished with 16 points and Sebastian Telfair scored a season-high 18 off the bench. OKC's reserves totaled 40 points.
"I'm happy that we finally hit some shots," said Thunder head coach Scott Brooks. "That was good to see. The ball was moving throughout the game."
Oklahoma City, which fell behind by 16 points in the second half before mounting a comeback, scored 100 points for the first time since its last win on Nov. 12 at Boston, a 109-94 triumph.
Not only have the Thunder been playing without their two superstars, but forward Perry Jones is dealing with a hamstring issue. Jones is questionable Friday and hasn't played since Nov. 4. He is averaging 15.0 ppg.
The Thunder are second-to-last in scoring with 89.7 points and only winless Philadelphia is worse at 88.6. OKC, though, plays tough defense and is fifth in opponents' scoring at 95.3 ppg.
Oklahoma City will also host Golden State, Utah and New York.
Brooklyn has lost a season-high five in a row and will play the next three games away from home against Oklahoma City, San Antonio and Philadelphia. It is 1-4 on the road this season.
Nets fans got their money's worth in a tough 122-118 triple-overtime loss to the Milwaukee Bucks on Wednesday. Both teams scored 10 points in the first extra period, seven in the second OT and Milwaukee took the final frame, 10-6, for the win. Bucks rookie Jabari Parker scored a career-high 23 points.
Former Nets head coach Jason Kidd guided his new Bucks team into his old stomping grounds and came away with the victory.
"I know he wanted it bad, but I think the players wanted it more than he did," Bucks guard O.J. Mayo said about Kidd. "For him to come to Milwaukee and give us hope. We're a good young team and we wanted it for him."
Brooklyn was led by 26 points from Brook Lopez, who has scored in double digits in eight of the nine games he's appeared in this season. Bojan Bogdanovic and Deron Williams scored 19 and 18 points, respectively, and Williams handed out seven assists. Williams and Joe Johnson, who also scored 18 points, played more than 52 minutes.
"Any time you go into this many overtimes and come away with a loss, it's tough," said Williams. "You play so hard, you fight. You play good in stretches but just come up short. It's a lot of minutes to be playing in a loss."
The Nets committed 22 turnovers for 25 Milwaukee points. There were 17 lead changes and 14 ties in the triple-overtime affair, something the Nets have experienced six times in the team's history (2-4).
In milestone news for Nets big man Kevin Garnett, Friday is the 1,389th game of his career and he will match Reggie Miller for seventh on the NBA's all- time list. Kidd, Garnett's former coach, is sixth with 1,391 games played.
Brooklyn defeated Oklahoma City already this season, recording a 116-85 triumph at home on Nov. 3. Jackson scored a game-high 23 points and Lopez ended with 18, as the Nets won for the third time in the last four meetings.
The Nets have lost 10 of the last 14 as the visitor in this series.