The Oklahoma City Thunder continued their road trip on Monday night as they took on the Washington Wizards. For the first time since being traded away from the Thunder, Russell Westbrook took on his old team without any of his former teammates on the roster. Although he is only two seasons removed from his time in OKC, the roster has been completely overhauled in this timeframe.
Washington threw the first punch on Monday, starting out the game on a 15-6 run. The Wizards went on to extend their lead to 13 by the end of the first quarter behind 11 points from Bradley Beal.
Down as many as 15 points in the second frame, the Thunder clawed their way back late and got within one point after back-to-back threes from rookie Theo Maledon in the final minutes. In the last 90 seconds of the first half, the Wizards pushed the lead back to six heading into the half.
Oklahoma City committed 12 turnovers in the first half, which was the main reason they had little success. The one thing that kept them in the game early was converting on eight threes through the first two quarters (44 percent) to Washington only hitting three (25 percent).
Within the first two minutes of the second half, the Wizards extended their lead from six to 13. Their 3-pointers started to drop while the Thunder continued to turn the ball over. In the fourth quarter, Oklahoma City pulled within four points early on, but couldn't completely turn the tables.
Oklahoma City ultimately fell 119-107 as they lost their eleventh game in a row. The Thunder dominated the glass and did a better job of taking care of the ball in the second half, but it wasn't enough.
Tony Bradley had one of his better games this season with 12 points in the first half, finishing with 16 points on 7-for-9 from the floor. Aleksej Pokusevski had another solid performance with eight points, five assists and four rebounds, while his rookie teammate Maledon produced 14 points, seven rebounds and five assists. Darius Bazley ended up leading the team in scoring with a career-high 26 points on the night, having success at the rim and drawing contact to get to the line.
“I think that’s just kinda how I get myself going," said Bazley postgame. "Getting to the rim trying to finish.”
The superstar guard duo of Westbrook and Beal finished the night combining for 43 points and 19 rebounds, simply over-powering the Thunder. Davis Bertans, as usual, was on fire from beyond the arc, converting on six 3-pointers and totaling 21 points.
"He [Westbrook] had 17 assists tonight on a night that I thought we did a good job on him," said Thunder Head Coach Mark Daigneault. "He’s a great player.”
These two teams will face off again on Friday evening as the Thunder hope for a different result. However, the Thunder will first finish up their road trip in Indiana against the Pacers on Wednesday.
Tip-off between the Thunder and the Pacers is slated for 6 p.m.