- Mike Mazzeo, ESPN Staff Writer
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Williams, who came in shooting just 38.2 percent from the field this season and admitted to reporters that his confidence was lacking, erupted for a season-high 33 points in Brooklyn’s 117-111 loss to Oklahoma City at Barclays Center.
The 28-year-old All-Star shot 10-for-20 from the field -- including 5-for-9 from 3-point range -- and added seven assists and four rebounds in 42 minutes.
"I just wanted to be aggressive when I caught the ball and just shoot it," Williams said. "Not even allow time to let bad thoughts get in my head. That's why I was able to hit some shots."
In his previous 10 games, D-Will has been bothered by a litany of injuries most recently a sprained right shooting wrist.
"Deron was aggressive," Nets coach Avery Johnson said. "He spent a lot of time after practice shooting the ball. We gave him that extra day off (on Monday) to get his body together, and it carried over to the floor."
Williams became the first Net to score 30-plus points in a game this season. It was his first 30-point outing since March 28, 2012 against Indiana.
"I didn't know I was gonna get going like that," he said. "It was just one of those games where I see a couple shots go in and you get your confidence up. I was looking for a game like this. It stinks that it was in a loss, but I’m definitely happy that I got going."
After signing a five-year, $98 million contract to remain in Brooklyn, Williams has struggled to find a balance between being a facilitator and a scorer. But with center Brook Lopez out for a third straight game due to a sprained right wrist, D-Will knew he was going to have to fill it up -- and he did.
Williams got off to a fast start, connecting on his first four field goal attempts -- including a 32-foot desperation heave from the right wing that found the twine with 5:08 left in the first quarter.
"It was definitely good to see that one go in," said Williams, who ended up with 12 first-quarter points.
He then scored 13 points in the third, as the Nets nearly rallied from a 16-point deficit.
Unfortunately, they were done in by the fact they allowed the Thunder to shoot 60.6 percent and score 117 points.
"I don't think we can let a team like this shoot 60 percent in our building and have a chance," Williams said.
The Nets may have lost a game to the defending Western Conference champions on Tuesday night. But if it means that D-Will is going to be a consistent scorer the rest of the way, it's a loss they'll be more than happy to live with.
"Like I said, shooting has been something I've been struggling with," Williams said. "The ball hasn't been going in the hole. It's been right there. It's been going in and out, and it just hasn't been consistently going down. But my shots fell tonight, I got my confidence up, and hopefully I can keep that going."
3dMarc Stein and Mike Mazzeo