The Thunder (25-14) suffered perhaps their worst loss of the season on Sunday night in Oklahoma City, as Bradley Beal scored 25 points and Otto Porter Jr. added 20 of his own to lead the Wizards (16-24) to a 116-98 victory at Chesapeake Energy Arena. Russell Westbrook recorded his 12th triple-double of the season with 22 points, 15 rebounds, and 13 assists. Paul George contributed 20 points on 7-of-18 shooting. However, the Wizards took advantage of a sloppy/lethargic Thunder effort in the second half, outscoring OKC 62-48 after halftime to win it with ease down the stretch.
Washington bullied the beleaguered Thunder 55-41 on the glass (16-7 offensive rebounds), and won the points in the paint battle by a final tally of 56-50. Five Wizards reached double-figures in scoring, including Beal (25), Porter (20), Jeff Green (16), Tomas Satoransky (15), and Thomas Bryant (14). Despite shooting just 43.6 percent from the field and hitting 10-of-27 from long range, they had no problem dismantling the vaunted Thunder defense to lead by as many as 23 in the second half.
The Thunder return to action on Tuesday, as Karl Anthony-Towns and the Minnesota Timberwolves (who just fired head coach Tom Thibodeau) will pay a visit to The ‘Peake at 7:00 PM CST on NBA TV and Fox Sports Oklahoma.
The Start. The Thunder led by 11 at one point in the first quarter, racing out to an 18-7 lead at the 5:41 mark behind 10 early points from Steven Adams. However, the Wizards outscored OKC 21-7 from that point forward to close the opening frame with a 28-25 advantage. Though the Thunder only trailed by four at halftime, the stage was set for a disappointing evening when that initial lead was coughed up.
The Third Quarter. Though the Thunder took a 67-65 lead at the 7:08 mark of the third quarter, the good times didn’t last long. Washington reeled off a 15-2 run and began imposing their will in the paint — shooting 8-of-10 up close in the third to take a 90-79 lead into the final 12 minutes of action. Beal, Porter, and Bryant combined for 23 points in the third to blow the game open.
The Fourth. Washington poured it on in the fourth quarter, outscoring OKC 26-19 and never allowing the Thunder to get within single-digits. They scored 14 points in the paint and created nine points off second-chance opportunities to close it out. Billy Donovan eventually pulled his starters down 17 with 2:57 to go.
PG13. Paul George scored 15 points on 5-of-13 shooting in the first half. He scored five points after halftime, shooting just 2-of-5 in an unusually quiet 24 minutes of play. His 20 points were his lowest output since December 7 against the Bulls.
Russ. Though Westbrook recorded his 12th triple-double with 22 points, 15 rebounds, and 13 assists, he turned the ball over eight times and shot just 9-of-23 for the evening. He also went 2-of-6 from the free throw line and took some jumpers that were miserably inaccurate. The shooting struggles continue.
Big Steve. Adams score 10 points on 4-of-4 shooting in the first quarter. After that? Two points on 1-of-2 from the field. Really disappointing ending for Big Kiwi after a phenomenal first frame. He needs to be more involved throughout, as he attempted just one field goal after halftime.
Bench Woes. Really tough night for the OKC bench. They were outscored 42-22 by the Washington reserves — and get a load of these plus/minus numbers: Noel (-26), Patterson (-13), Nader (-20), Schroder (-32!!).
Last Word. Yuck.