LAS VEGAS -- It appeared that Kelly Oubre felt insulted that Dionte Christmas tried to bring the ball up against him in the summer league opener for both. He stripped him multiple times, and he threw the ball ahead to a streaking Micheal Eric for a breakaway dunk as the Wizards turned what had been a competititve contest into a rout.
Oubre was busy flexing to the crowd at Thomas and Mack Center, with his back to the play, long before Eric went up for the finish. The Wizards would hold the Utah Jazz to 14 third-quarter points to get off to a much better start than they did a year ago here when Oubre was a rookie.
"I thought Kelly played well. That's something all guys can take that even if you're not shooting the ball well you can still do other things to help your team win," said Wizards assistant Sidney Lowe who is coaching the unit of mostly free agents following the 88-73 win. "I think that's what Kelly did tonight. He made a couple of big shots for us but I thought his defense was outstanding. That's what he can do. He's long, he's athletic, he was able to get in the passing lanes and it generated some fast breaks for us."
Oubre led the Wizards with 20 points but after an efficient start to begin he shot just 6 of 19. His three-point stroke looked more pure even when it didn't go in and he was more carefree.
"Now I know what my defined role is and can be on this basketball team," Oubre said. "I'm trying to do that and perfect that."
The Wizards led 40-35 at halftime before pulling away. When the second half began, the Jazz couldn't get a clean look while Washington lived in transition.
"Defense is the key to winning championships, to our offense, everything," said Oubre, who finished with a game-high four steals as did backup center Daniel Ochefu. "If I can bring that, bring that heart and bring that dog onto the court then we're going to be successful. We feel like a more polished and collective group."