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Nets Dominate Durant, Thunder 116-106

(AP Photo/Kathy Willens)

(AP Photo/Kathy Willens)


(BROOKLYN) – One way for the Nets to recruit Kevin Durant to Brooklyn is by playing their best game of the season with the former NBA Most Valuable Player and future unrestricted free agent in the building.

Durant’s current team, the Oklahoma City Thunder, rolled into Barclays Center on Sunday on a seven game winning-streak. They made it to New York City safely despite the massive blizzard that dumped more than 2 feet of snow on the region, but they did not play like one of the league’s best teams on Sunday.

Brook Lopez scored a season-high 31 points to go along with 10 rebounds as the Nets dominated the Thunder 116-106 on Sunday to earn their 12th victory of the year.

Durant led the way for the Thunder with 32 points, 10 rebounds and seven assists, but it wasn’t enough as they lost for just the fifth time in their past 27 games.

Thaddeus Young chipped in 14 points and 14 boards for the Nets (12-33), who snapped a five-game losing streak. Bojan Bogdanovic scored 18 points off the bench.

The game was originally scheduled to start at 3:30 pm, but the NBA agreed to move it back to 7:30 pm in order to accommodate the fans who were trying to dig themselves out of their homes and get to the arena.

The Nets played with a purpose after being dismantled by the Utah Jazz at home on Friday night. They shot 57 percent from the field in the first quarter and led 60-52 at halftime. The lead ballooned to as much as 13 during the third quarter before Durant, Russell Westbrook (27 points, 11 rebounds) and the Thunder made a run.

The Nets have lost plenty of games this season in which they’ve led by double-digits, but Lopez and Young made sure that did not happen on Sunday night. They each hit key shots as Brooklyn was able to maintain the lead throughout the fourth quarter. As a team, the Nets dominated the Thunder from start to finish and it could not have come at a better time.

Durant will be an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season and it’s no secret that the Nets will lobby hard to get him to come to Brooklyn, with a brand new practice facility set to open and over $40 million in cap space. Pundits and fans alike can all agree that the Nets are a long shot to land Durant, but he did tell reporters before the game that the Nets are a talented team. He added that he enjoys playing in New York City, both at Barclays Center and Madison Square Garden. That may not be too much of a reason for Nets fans to get excited, but Sunday was a huge positive step for the organization.

They still have to hire a new general manager and head coach, but if the Nets could somehow land Durant, they would finally have the superstar they thought they had in Deron Williams. Add a pass-first point guard to go along with Durant, Lopez, Young, and rookies Rondae Hollis-Jefferson and Chris McCullough, and the Nets would become instant contenders in the Eastern Conference. Before I get too ahead of myself (which I already think I did), celebrate Sunday’s win, Nets fans, and dream of tonight what the future could hold in Brooklyn. With, or without Durant, this was a win to be proud of.

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Jason Goldstein is a co host of the Baseline Jumper NBA podcast, recording every Tuesday night along Ben McDonald. Jason has also spent time as the Basketball Editor at while also handling the Brooklyn Nets Lead Writer duties since October 2015.
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