Thunder Overwhelms Washington With Strong Defensive Performance

Wednesday, March 27th 2013, 11:04 pm
By: News 9

Although the Washington Wizards have been near the bottom of the NBA the past couple of years, the Oklahoma City Thunder have had some unexplained problems with them, dropping its past two games against the Wizards.

The Thunder didn't allow the past to get in the way Wednesday night, walloping the Wizards 103-80 at Chesapeake Energy Arena.

Oklahoma City was led by Russell Westbrook's 21 points, which he accumulated in just 25 minutes of play. Kevin Durant scored 20 points, and Kevin Martin continued his recent stretch of quality play by scoring 18 points off the bench, burying 3-of-4 from 3-point range.

John Wall led the Wizards with 18 points and also distributed 12 assists. However, Wall was just 3-of-18 from the field after scoring 47 points against Memphis Monday night. Wall was one of five Wizards to score in double figures.

As a team, the Wizards were awful from the field, shooting 32.1 percent despite gathering in 16 offensive rebounds. Those 16 offensive boards gave the Wizards 21 more shots than the Thunder, but Washington still made two fewer field goals than OKC.

This was the fourth team in a row the Thunder had held to 90 or fewer points in a game, the second time that has happened in OKC franchise history.

The game's beginning was rough for OKC, as Russell Westbrook picked up two fouls less than two and a half minutes into the game. Kendrick Perkins and Reggie Jackson also picked up two fouls in the quarter, but the Thunder was able to lead 29-23 at the end of the period thanks to the aggressive play of Jackson in Westbrook's absence, as well as an 8-2 burst at the end of the period before two Wall free throws.

The two teams slogged through the first half of the second quarter before a pair of 3-pointers from Durant and Martin pushed the OKC lead to 43-34.The Wizards cut the lead to 45-41 with 3:13 remaining, but the Thunder responded with a 6-0 run, capped by a Durant fastbreak dunk.

After leading 53-45 at halftime, the Thunder began making it rain from 3-point range in the third, knocking down three from long range, as well as deep jumpers from Serge Ibaka and Perkins. Thabo Sefolosha's second deep ball of the quarter gave the Thunder a 70-54 lead with 7:20 remaining in the period.

Washington closed to within 11 points, but OKC responded with a 13-4 run to open up an 88-68 lead with 9:44 remaining in the game.