Capitals

Thunder snap Nuggets' win streak, 117-97

201301162001720736800-p2.jpeg

Thunder snap Nuggets' win streak, 117-97

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) Russell Westbrook scored 32 points, Kevin Martin had 20 and the Oklahoma City Thunder snapped Denver's six-game winning streak by beating the Nuggets 117-97 on Wednesday night.

Kevin Durant added 20 points and tied his career high with five steals as NBA-best Oklahoma City led wire-to-wire for just the second time this season.

The Thunder opened a 16-point lead in the first quarter and remained in control throughout, pulling their starters for the fourth quarter with a 25-point edge. Denver mounted an 11-0 run against Oklahoma City's last five but that still only cut the deficit to 101-84.

Kosta Koufos had 16 points and nine rebounds to lead the Nuggets, who fell to 3-6 this season in the second game of a back-to-back set.

Denver had won after trailing in the fourth quarter or overtime in its previous four games, but dug too big of a hole to mount a comeback this time.

Westbrook hit six of his first eight shots and had 16 points in the first 10 minutes, with the Thunder continuously pulling away. Oklahoma City scored the first seven points of the game and also had a pair of 8-0 spurts in the first quarter while getting out to a 34-18 lead.

It wasn't until after Nick Collison's two-handed dunk stretched the advantage to 45-23 in the first 3 minutes of the second quarter before Denver coach George Karl finally spent a timeout. The Nuggets never got closer than 17 after that.

JaVale McGee had a couple of highlight-reel dunks among 15 points for Denver. Andre Iguodala scored 12 and Danilo Gallinari 11. The Nuggets had 21 turnovers, one shy of their worst total of the season.

The Northwest Division rivals will play again Sunday in Denver.

Reserve Wilson Chandler, who hit the go-ahead 3-pointer in the Nuggets' overtime win against Portland on Tuesday night, did not play.

Serge Ibaka returned to the Oklahoma City lineup after missing the past two games with a chest contusion and had five points, six rebounds and five blocks in 26 minutes.

NOTES: Asked before the game who should be the Nuggets' All-Star candidates, Karl said backup point guard Andre Miller has been the team's MVP so far. ... Oklahoma City corralled an offensive rebound on nine of its first 16 missed shots. ... The Thunder scored 67 points in the first half. Their season-high for first-half scoring was 68 against Houston on Dec. 29.

Quick Links

Oshie makes a triumphant return to St. Louis for his first All-Star Game

Oshie makes a triumphant return to St. Louis for his first All-Star Game

ST. LOUIS -- Friday's All-Star Skills provided a brief glimpse of the type of reception T.J. Oshie can expect to receive from the St. Louis crowd when he takes to the ice in his first NHL All-Star Game.

"It's been pretty cool hearing them cheer when I got called up," Oshie said. "I heard a cheer so I looked up at the scoreboard and they were showing me skating in warmups. It's really cool and special to me to see the support that I still have here in St. Louis, a place that I really enjoyed playing."

Though it feels to many in Washington as if Oshie has always been a Capital, this is only his fifth season with the franchise. He spent his first seven seasons with the St. Louis Blues. It is the team that drafted him, developed him and where he broke into the NHL. St. Louis is the city in which his first daughter was born and now, the city in which he triumphantly returns, still a fan favorite, for his first NHL All-Star Game (NBC, 8 p.m.).

"Obviously in D.C. is kind of where my career really started to take off and I've had more success there as a team as well," Oshie said, "But to come back here where I really started growing my family and had a lot of special memories and place I was drafted to, it's a pretty cool story to be able to tell my kids when we're older and grandkids after that."

While there is no question that D.C. is now home for Oshie, he never lost that bond that he had with the team and his teammates. When the Blues won the Cup, Oshie was on the phone with several of his former teammates the very next day as they continued celebrating.

And while Oshie never lost the bond he had with the team, neither did the team lose that bond with him.

"He goes all that time, comes back here for his first [All-Star Game] after he did so much for us and played so many games," Blues defenseman Alex Pietrangelo said, who was a former teammate of Oshie's in St. Louis. "It's weird how things work out."

It certainly is. Just ask David Perron.

Perron was also a teammate of Oshie's with the Blues and both player's careers are connected in more ways than one.

Perron was selected 26th overall by St. Louis in 2007, Oshie was selected 24th overall by St. Louis in 2005. Perron played his first NHL season for the Blues in 2007-08, Oshie in 2008-09. Perron was traded in the summer of 2013, Oshie in the summer of 2015. Perron won his first Cup in 2019 with the Blues, Oshie in 2018...against Perron who was then a member of the Vegas Golden Knights.

Now, the two are united again, each making their first All-Star appearance and it just so happens to come in St. Louis of all places.

"I said how special is it that we're here together right now?" Perron said. "I think for him after 12 years of his career, for me 13 years, it's both our first time and both being voted in by the fans, fans of St. Louis obviously helped him out quite a bit because he was a fan favorite when he was here and they helped me out a lot as well. It's truly special, a heck of a player. He's always played the right way, won a Cup two years ago against us in Vegas, that was hard, but I was happy for him to win one. And he's put in the work, he's put in the time, I'm happy for him."

Most players spend the bye week and the All-Star break by stepping away from hockey and going on vacations or spending time with family. With a pregnant wife and two daughters, Oshie probably had other plans for this week that did not involve going to snowy Missouri.

If the All-Star Game were anywhere else, this week may have been more than an inconvenience for Oshie than anything else. But not St. Louis.

Said Oshie, "I don't think there's another place that would be more fitting for me to go to my first All-Star Game."

Click here to download the MyTeams App by NBC Sports. Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream Capitals and Wizards games easily from your device.

MORE CAPITALS NEWS:

Quick Links

You might cry, but you have to see this video of Daron Payne buying his mom a house

You might cry, but you have to see this video of Daron Payne buying his mom a house

The Redskins drafted Daron Payne with the 13th overall pick in 2018, changing the big defensive lineman's life immediately. Making the NFL is a dream for many players, but going in the first round means even more. 

It means life-changing wealth, and for Payne, the ability to keep a promise to his mother. 

Not much needs to be added when a video tells the story, but it's worth noting some of the comments from Payne's Instagram page from other NFL players. 

Redskins DL Matt Ioannidis: "This is awesome! Congrats!"

Redskins DB Quinton Dunbar: "She was patient bro that’s everything ❤️"

Packers DE Preston Smith: "Bro that’s a blessing"

Redskins Director of Player Development Malcolm Blacken: "Man this is what it’s all about! 👊🏾👊🏾🔥"

Saints SS D.J. Swearinger: "Yeeeessssirrrr!!!! #congratsfoolie!!! That’s what it’s all about!! Being That Rock & Provider For The Love one!! ✊🏾"

Not the last, but maybe the best was former Redskins DL Ziggy Hood: "My guy I told myself I'm not crying on a sat morning, ✊🏾"

Payne has been one of the Redskins best players since he was drafted. In two years he's logged seven sacks and 112 tackles as a force in the middle of the team's defensive line. 

Click here to download the MyTeams App by NBC Sports. Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream Capitals and Wizards games easily from your device.

MORE REDSKINS NEWS