Nets coach Steve Nash said he was protecting Durant, the league’s No. 2 scorer. Brooklyn made the move work — the team shot 57% from the field and scored a season-high point total.
Theo Maledon, a 19-year-old rookie, scored 24 points and was perfect on six shots from 3-point range for the Thunder. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander scored 24 points and Hamidou Diallo added 18 for Oklahoma City.
The Nets led by nine at the end of the first quarter, then scored the first 10 points of the second to take a 46-27 lead and force the Thunder to call a timeout.
The Nets kept it going after the interruption, scoring five more points before the Thunder got on the board in the quarter. It took the Thunder nearly 3½ minutes to score in the period.
The Nets led 76-59 at halftime — their season high point total for a first half and the most the Thunder have allowed in any half this season. Harden had 17 points on 6-for-8 shooting before the break.
Brooklyn made 15 of 23 shots in the third to take a 115-94 lead into the fourth quarter.
Nets: Shot exactly 15 for 26 from the field in both the first and second quarters. … Held the Thunder to 33% shooting in the first quarter. … Former Thunder player Jeff Green scored 11 points for Brooklyn.
Thunder: G George Hill sat out with a sprained right thumb. … Dort made just 1 of 9 shots in the first half and 2 of 14 in the game. … Diallo made a career-high nine free throws on nine attempts.
The Thunder host the Houston Rockets on Monday.
The Nets visit the Washington Wizards on Sunday.