When: Friday, Oct. 25 at 8:00 p.m. ET
Where: Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, OK
How to watch: NBC Sports Washington
Thunder: Andre Roberson (out)
Washington faces no easy task in the search for its first win.
When Dallas jumped out to a massive 23-point third-quarter lead against the Wizards in the season opener, it would have been easy for Washington to roll over and take a devastating loss. But the team showed some fight — the Wizards won the fourth quarter 32-to-17 to narrow the gap to single digits (and cover the betting spread!) before the Mavericks finally put it away.
In Oklahoma City on Friday, the Wizards will need to provide a similarly resilient effort against one of the league’s hardest-working teams. The Thunder gave the Jazz all they could handle in their season opener, but fell just short in a 100-95 loss. The Thunder bring a strong defensive identity led by stalwarts Chris Paul and Steven Adams, and they have added some intriguing young pop this season in combo guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, coming off a career-high 26 in his Thunder and season debut.
Oklahoma City may project for no more than 35-40 wins this year, but they are no slouch at home, bringing one of the league’s most exciting home atmospheres to the table. In the second game of this challenging Western Conference road trip to open the season, Washington will need to be sharper than on Wednesday to earn their first W — and if they lose, they may have squandered their best chance for a win until early November.
Flashback Highlight: Beal’s 2013 Game-Winner
This feels like a lifetime ago, perhaps because it was — in January 2013, the Wizards beat the then-reigning Western Conference champion Thunder with a last-second dagger from a young Bradley Beal.