The Washington Wizards dropped their second road game in a row to the Oklahoma City Thunder on Friday. The young Thunder squad played with energy and aggression that the Wiz simply did not match en route to a 127-110 loss.
That was evident from the opening tip. After trading baskets early leading to a 7-7 tie at the 8:55 mark, OKC outscored Washington 28-10 for the rest of the first quarter to take a 35-17 lead after 12.
The Thunder were extremely stingy with their turnovers, committing just one in the opening frame compared to the Wizards’ six. That was a familiar theme the rest of the way as D.C. lost the points off turnovers battle by a landslide, 32-9.
The deficit ballooned further in the second as the Wiz found themselves down 51-24 at one point. Kyle Kuzma and Monte Morris facilitated a brief 7-0 run but that was eventually erased as they trailed at the half, 68-42.
Kuzma was the only Wizards player who scored more than six points at the break, tallying 13 points and four assists by halftime.
The Wizards had a few moments in the second half when they tried to make a push. They cut it to 18 early into the third quarter off a Jordan Goodwin corner triple. That run was stopped in its tracks as Shai Gilgeous-Alexander poured in 16 of his 30 points in the quarter.
The lead also shrunk to 14 a handful of times in the fourth. But the hole Washington dug themselves into was simply too deep to get out of.
Kuzma was the most productive Wiz player with 23 points, five rebounds, and seven assists. Daniel Gafford also had himself an efficient night with 15 points on 7 of 8 shooting to go along with nine rebounds.
The loss drops them to 1.5 games behind the Bulls for the final play-in slot. They have a chance to stop their skid at two against the New Orleans Pelicans on Monday.