After a hard-fought win against James Harden and Dwight Howard on Saturday night, it was different story on Monday against Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant. The Wizards could not get out in front of the explosiveness of the Thunder and lost 114-98.
Two fast-paced teams traded baskets for the first six minutes of the game. This game may have been too fast for Washington because they turned it over four times in the beginning stretch despite going 6 of 7 from the field. Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook, the league's top scoring duo, set the tempo early and both teams went off to the races. I'll admit I was dizzy and missed several possessions just trying to keep up. Westbrook looked lightning fast and the Easymoneysniper complemented him in every way. For the most part, the Wizards appeared unfazed as they looked to run and gun as well, but as soon as their shot stopped falling, things got ugly, and Oklahoma City got real.
The Thunder had a twelve-point lead to open the second half, but Washington was able to cut it down to eight. Chesapeake Energy Arena grew quiet as it looked like the Wizards were poised for comeback behind the aggressive play of Otto Porter and Marcin Gortat. However, the Thunder quickly regained control as they went on to win. They've won six of the last seven games against the Wizards played in Oklahoma City.
The Wizards were outrebounded 27-53 and only made 7 of 26 three-pointers, which could've kept them in the game. Only four Wizards scored in double-figures.
Kevin Durant lead all scorers with 28 points, 10 rebounds, and 4 assists.
Kevin Durant looked amazing, pure usual, so I can see why the Washington, D.C. fans want him to return home as soon as possible. He scored from everywhere on the court tonight, and even took on the challenge of guarding John Wall, one-on-one at times. Kevin Durant shot 50 percent from the field, picked up a technical foul to end the first half, but played with the high energy that the DC fans are so accustomed to seeing.
Westbrook wins marquee matchup with Wall
Again, Russell Westbrook got the best of John Wall and compiled another triple double against him with 17 points, 13 rebounds and 11 assists. John Wall, on the other hand, had 17 points, 8 assists, and 4 rebounds. The head-to-head matchup got off to a hot start in the first half, as John Wall was able to establish a rhythm with Westbrook on the bench. The matchup fizzled in the second half, as Westbrook's teammates were able to make shots and take complete control of the game.
Wizards are NBA's most injury-riddled team (197 games lost according to @ManGamesLostNBA) and OKC is NBA's healthiest (12 gms). Memo for KD?— Tom Haberstroh (@tomhaberstroh) February 1, 2016