Nets pay for resting Durant and Mills

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  • Brooklyn Nets
    Brooklyn Nets
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  • Kevin Durant
    Kevin Durant
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  • Patty Mills
    Patty Mills
    Australian men's basketball player

The weary Brooklyn Nets gave Kevin Durant and Australian star Patty Mills a well-earned night off and paid for it as they were thumped 130-109 by the lowly-ranked Oklahoma Thunder in the NBA.

Australian rookie Josh Giddey scored 19 points while Shai Gilgeous-Alexander led the way with 33 points, 10 rebounds and nine assists and Lu Dort scored 27 points as the Thunder snapped a five-game losing streak in New York on Thursday night.

James Harden had 26 points, nine assists and seven rebounds for the Nets, who couldn't muster enough energy after their 138-112 rout of the East-leading Bulls in Chicago on Wednesday night.

The Nets were playing their fourth game in five days, a stretch that began with a home victory Sunday over San Antonio and a loss the next night in Portland.

They had Kyrie Irving for the win over the Bulls but not Thursday, as he remains ineligible to play in New York City while unvaccinated against the coronavirus.

Brooklyn coach Steve Nash said the Nets were being cautious in deciding to rest the league's leading scorer Durant and Mills, who has had to play more minutes than expected with Irving playing only three games and Joe Harris recovering from ankle surgery.

"I think those guys have just played so much and they have so much responsibility in the games recently that it's just, it wouldn't be smart for them to play tonight," Nash said.

The Nets (26-15) are third in the eastern conference while the Thunder improved to 14-27 at the midpoint of their schedule and sit second-last in the western conference.

In Milwaukee, Giannis Antetokounmpo had 30 points, 12 rebounds and 11 assists to help defending champions Milwaukee (27-17) rout the Golden State Warriors 118-99.

Superstar shooter Steph Curry managed only 12 points in 29 minutes for the Warriors (30-11) who were led by Andrew Wiggins with 16.

"I know we just got our butts kicked, but we're just in a rough patch in our season," Warriors coach Steve Kerr said. "It happens to every team, every year pretty much with very few exceptions."

In Memphis, Desmond Bane scored 21 points, Jaren Jackson Jr. added 20 and the Memphis Grizzlies pulled away in the final minutes for their 11th straight victory, beating the Minnesota Timberwolves 116-108.

Ja Morant had 16 points, nine assists and eight rebounds, and John Konchar added 15 points and a career-best 17 rebounds.

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