Johnson said Carlesimo "jumped on us" after a 31-point thumping at San Antonio 2 days earlier, stressing the importance of ball movement on offense and helping each other out on defense.
"To be honest, it helped," Johnson said. "It translated into the game because we were in a spot defensively that we hadn't been in, in a while. We were talking, communicating, the ball was moving great, guys were getting wide-open shots and it just kind of played into our hands."
The Nets built a 23-point lead late in the second quarter, then allowed Oklahoma City to tie it at 85 before ripping off a 23-8 run to seize control right back. Durant was ejected near the end of the surge, arguing with Danny Crawford after the referee had already issued a technical foul against the Thunder's Kendrick Perkins.
"I just thought it was a bad call. You get frustrated throughout a game, you show emotion. That's how you can tell you love it," said Durant, who scored 27 points.
The three-time scoring champion had never before been ejected in his six NBA seasons but got tossed after Brooklyn rallied largely from the foul line. The Nets made 11 free throws in a span of just over 5 minutes, pulling away after Oklahoma City had finally fought all the way back.
But Durant said it wasn't a disparity in foul calls or any cumulative complaint about the officiating that sent him to the showers early.
"I said, 'It's a bad call,' " he said. "They've got a quick trigger now."
"I think I'm allowed to be frustrated, especially in this league. With the ups and downs, the players are allowed to be frustrated," Durant added. "It is what it is, move on from it."
Brook Lopez added 25 points as Brooklyn ended a seven-game losing streak in the series and got Carlesimo a victory against the team that fired him back in 2008. He'd only had one win in Oklahoma City during his abbreviated tenure in charge of the Thunder, getting fired after a 1-12 start after the team's summer relocation from Seattle.
He started his interim stint with the Nets by notching wins against Charlotte and Cleveland before the 104-73 loss at San Antonio.
"For whatever reason, we didn't have quite the same kind of energy in San Antonio, but we learned from it . . . Tonight was tremendous energy," Carlesimo said.
In other games *
At Toronto, Terrence Ross scored a career-high 26 points, DeMar DeRozan had 24 and the Raptors snapped an eight-game losing streak against Portland by beating the Trail Blazers, 102-79.
* At Indianapolis, Paul George had 29 points and 13 rebounds, D.J. Augustin scored 18 points, and the Indiana Pacers beat the Washington Wizards, 89-81.
* At Cleveland, Jason Thompson scored 19 points and DeMarcus Cousins added 18 points, leading the Sacramento Kings to their second road win of the season, 97-94 over the Cavaliers.
Cavaliers center Anderson Varejao missed his seventh game with a bruised right knee.
* At Boston, Mike Conley had 23 points and nine assists to lead the Memphis Grizzlies to a 93-83 victory over the Celtics, who suffered their fourth straight loss.
* At Orlando, Carlos Boozer had a season-high 31 points and 11 rebounds, Luol Deng scored 23 points and the Chicago Bulls hung on to beat the Magic, 96-94.
* At Miami, LeBron James scored 32 points and finished one assist shy of a triple-double, Dwyane Wade scored 27 and the Heat rallied both early and late before beating the Dallas Mavericks, 119-109, in overtime.
O.J. Mayo scored 30 and Dirk Nowitzki added 19 in 29 minutes for the Mavericks, who fell to 0-6 in overtime.
* At Milwaukee, Tim Duncan had 28 points, 13 rebounds and six assists, and the San Antonio Spurs used torrid first-half shooting to beat the Bucks, 117-110, for their seventh straight win. Tony Parker added 23 points and 11 assists for the Spurs, who shot 52 percent from the field for the game.
* At Houston, James Harden had 31 points and seven assists to lead the Rockets to a 104-92 victory over the New Orleans Hornets.
* At Salt Lake City, Gordon Hayward scored 17 points, Enes Kanter had 15 and the Utah Jazz beat the Minnesota Timberwolves, 106-84, to snap a three-game losing streak.
In Jazz news, Mo Williams is expected to miss 6 weeks after surgery on his right thumb.