Career day for Mills as Nets outclass Giddey’s Thunder

Australian Boomers star Patty Mills sunk a career-high nine three-pointers, joining Kevin Durant and James Harden in steering the Brooklyn Nets to a 120-96 win over the Oklahoma City Thunder on Sunday.

Mills finished with 29 points, shooting at 75 per cent from behind the arc in the dominant win.

Nets guard Patty Mills tracks Thunder star Shai Gilgeous-Alexander during Brooklyn’s big win.Credit:AP

While Mills joined his two future Hall of Fame teammates in orchestrating a third-straight victory, OKC rookie and fellow Australian Josh Giddey endured a testing night.

The 19-year-old who is still learning the ropes, had six points, five rebounds and four assists.

The Nets have now won three consecutive games and eight of their last nine, finishing a season-long six-game road trip 5-1. They also snapped the Thunder’s four-game winning streak.

In four of their five wins this season, the Thunder have come back from a deficit of at least 16 points. Once again, Oklahoma City found itself in a big hole, as Brooklyn stretched its lead to 20 early in the fourth quarter.

Ty Jerome ignited a bit of a comeback, scoring eight points in a 17-7 Thunder run to help Oklahoma City cut the deficit to 10 and force Brooklyn coach Steve Nash to insert Durant and Blake Griffin back into the game after Jerome’s 3-pointer with just less than six minutes remaining.

But the Nets quickly stretched the lead back out, with a 12-2 run over the next three minutes with six points each from Durant and Mills.

Brooklyn started building a lead early in the contest, with 10 first-quarter points by Durant.

Luguentz Dort, the star of Oklahoma City’s last two wins, got off to a hot start offensively, scoring 11 in the opening quarter while also making his mark on defense.

Dort got into foul trouble in the second quarter, though, including picking up his third foul midway through the quarter on a play challenged by Thunder coach Mark Daigneault. Daigneault challenged the foul, which was originally called on Josh Giddey. Instead, it was switched to a foul on Dort.

But facing a team with the Nets’ offensive firepower, Daigneault opted to stick with Dort, who soon picked up his fourth foul.

Dort finished with 20 points, while Shai Gilgeous-Alexander led Oklahoma City with 23 points.

James Harden, coming off his biggest game of the season, had 16 and 13 assists but was just 1 of 8 from behind the arc.

–Field Level Media

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