Caris LeVert
(June Frantz Hunt/AP Photo)

In the first of seven-straight road games, the Brooklyn Nets fell short against the Oklahoma City Thunder.

Matt Brooks

This was not exactly a promising start to the Brooklyn Nets‘ two-week road trip.

Faced up with the fourth-seeded Oklahoma City Thunder, the Brooklyn Nets needed a statement victory to get off on the right foot. In their previous meetup, the Nets pushed the Thunder to the brink—to the point where Oklahoma City required a Paul George game-winning three-pointer to hang on for victory.

It was conceivable that, after a couple of days of rest, the Nets could pull off the upset.

For three quarters, it appeared that a shocking victory was on the table. Unfortunately, the Thunders’ grinding defense took hold late in the fourth.

Oklahoma City was able to force Brooklyn into multiple bad shots down the stretch. This included a pair of airball shots from D’Angelo Russell, a poor attempt under the basket by Jarrett Allen that was blocked by Steven Adams, and a comically awful no-look layup by Rodions Kurucs.

I don’t want to sound too critical of Brooklyn’s starters; the average age of the players just mentioned is 21 years old. Things are supposed to be this difficult when going up against one of the league’s elite defensive teams. Especially for such a young group.

Spencer Dinwiddie was the only Net who could get anything going. Dinwiddie put up 25 points on an efficient 8-of-17 from the field.

Meanwhile, the Nets had no answer for Russell Westbrook—a major concern in my recent preview piece on the Nets’ upcoming games. (Also, for anyone keeping score, I am 1-for-1 in my predictions. Something I’m not happy about).

Westbrook poured in 31 points on 23 shots, pulled down 12 rebounds, and dished out 11 assists. He was unstoppable down the stretch, canning multiple jumpers in the face of Nets’ defenders.

Paul George also had a nice night against Brooklyn. The MVP candidate dropped a casual 25 points on 9-of-18 from the field.

Brooklyn will have a chance get redemption on Saturday when the team heads to Utah to matchup with a tough Jazz team. Coverage starts at 9:00 p.m. ET.

An NBA fanatic who specializes in the advanced analytics of the game. I cover the Brooklyn Nets here in the city. Follow me on Twitter for semi-witty basketball tweets. @MattBrooksNBA