THE FACTS: Without the low-post presence of Brook Lopez, the Nets were not able to play their pace against the Oklahoma City Thunder. It almost did not matter. Driven by a season-high 33 points from Deron Williams, the Nets clawed their way back from a 16-point deficit against the Thunder, eventually falling, 117-111. A ruthlessly efficient Kevin Durant (32 points, 12-for-12 from the free-throw line) and an active Russell Westbrook (25 points, 9 assists) led the Thunder charge. Serge Ibaka (18 points, 6 rebounds) knocked down clutch jumpers with the crowd at full throat.
QUOTABLE: "I think we are meshing great. We are doing a great job of passing the basketball, playing off each other, and making each other better."
-- Westbrook, on the Thunder, owners of the NBA's second best record (15-4).
THE STAT: The Thunder shot a season-high 60.6 percent, negating the Nets' 16-2 offensive rebounding edge and 21-point advantage on made 3-pointers.
TURNING POINT: With 1:52 remaining, Kris Humphries (12 points, 12 rebounds) pinned a Durant floater against the backboard and was called for goal-tending. The Nets and the crowd were shocked at the call, but after an official review, the play was upheld, giving the Thunder a 110-106 lead. The Nets did not score again until the outcome had all but been decided.
QUOTABLE II: "If not, it was as close as it could possibly be."
-- Humphries, asked whether his goal-tend was a clean block.
INSIDE THE ARENA: Due to a scoreboard malfunction, Thabo Sefolosha's surname was written as "Sedohosha" during the first quarter. Other surname malfunctions continued throughout the game. At one point, the Nets purportedly had a player whose last name was Pooks.
ROOKIE WATCH: Mirza Teletovic scored a career-high 8 points.
NOTABLE: Williams busted out of his lengthy shooting slump by hitting his first four shots en route to 12 of the Nets' first 21 points. One of the shots was a very deep three. ... The Thunder hit 12-of-17 field goals to start the game. ... Durant tried to crown Andray Blatche (19 points, 11 rebounds) with a one-handed tomahawk dunk late in the second quarter. He missed but earned two free throws in the process ... Blatche recorded his second double-double of the season and is averaging 17.7 ppg. and 9.3 rpg as a starter. ... Gerald Wallace had a third quarter eeirly similar to his third quarter against the Orlando Magic on Friday, when he sank four threes to get the Nets back into the game. Wallace did much of his third-quarter damage against Oklahoma City as an undersized power forward. ... The Nets' 38 third-quarter points were a season high.
UP NEXT: For the Thunder, Friday vs. L.A. Lakers, Sunday vs. Indiana, Wednesday vs. New Orleans. For the Nets, Friday vs. Golden State, Sunday vs. Milwaukee, Tuesday vs. New York.