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Young duo shines in fourth as Thunder down Nets

Jan 15, 2023; Brooklyn, New York, USA; Brooklyn Nets forward Joe Harris (12) drives to the basket against Oklahoma City Thunder guard Josh Giddey (3) during the second quarter at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Josh Giddey and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander scored 28 points apiece as the Oklahoma City Thunder dominated the fourth quarter of a 112-102 victory over the Brooklyn Nets on Sunday night in New York.

The duo combined for 18 of Oklahoma City’s 37 points in the fourth and helped the Thunder improve to 10-5 in their past 15 games, a stretch that includes wins over the Boston Celtics and Philadelphia 76ers.

Giddey made 12 of 21 shots, including all four of his attempts in the fourth quarter, to help Oklahoma City rally from a 10-point deficit late in the third. He also added nine rebounds and nine assists.

Gilgeous-Alexander went 8-for-17 from the field and went 11-for-14 at the free-throw line as the Thunder shot 65 percent in the final period and 44.4 percent for the game.

Luguentz Dort hit five 3-pointers and added 22 points for Oklahoma City, which won its third straight and claimed its fifth consecutive win at Brooklyn.

Reserve Seth Curry scored 23 points for the Nets, who lost their second straight game since losing Kevin Durant for at least two weeks with a knee injury. Nic Claxton added 17 points and 13 rebounds, but Kyrie Irving was 7 of 20 from the floor and was held to 15 points as Brooklyn shot 42.9 percent and played without Ben Simmons (sore back).

Gilgeous-Alexander scored nine points as the Thunder held a 28-24 lead through the opening quarter. After a layup by Gilgeous-Alexander put Oklahoma City ahead 45-37 late in the second, the Nets outscored the Thunder 13-3 over the final 4:05 of the first half and held a 50-48 lead by the break on Claxton’s dunk with two seconds left.

The Nets took their first double-digit lead at 80-70 on a layup by Curry with 1:18 left in the third quarter and settled for an 80-75 lead going into the fourth. Giddey converted two layups and his 3-pointer forged an 82-82 tie with 10:08 remaining before Dort’s corner trey opened a 90-86 edge less than two minutes later.

A 15-footer by Gilgeous-Alexander opened a 105-94 lead with 3:05 to go. After Gilgeous-Alexander hit another basket, Darius Bazley’s dunk and Giddey’s short jumper opened a 112-100 lead with about a minute left to clinch it.

–Field Level Media