The Wizards allowed Russell Westbrook to beat them the last time these teams met. On Monday, they frustrated him into one of his worst games of the season and blew out the Oklahoma City Thunder, 120-98, in the third sellout at Verizon Center in front of 20,356.
Bradley Beal (22 points) jump-started the Wizards by making 6 of 7 three-pointers while John Wall (15 points, 14 assists) orchestrated the offense as they’ve won 19 of 20 at home to avenge an overtime loss in Oklahoma City on Nov. 30. In that game, Russell Westbrook hit a three-pointer to force the extra session and win 126-115.
This time, Washington (33-21) left no doubt. The home record is 23-7, the most wins in franchise history before the All-Star break with one game remaining Thursday vs. the Indiana Pacers. The previous high was 21 in 1978-79.
Westbrook (17 points, four assists) was kept under control, shooting just 5-for-19 and and playing just 24 minutes. No other starter for the Thunder scored in double figures with Andre Roberson, Domantas Sabonis, and Victor Oladipo combining to score 12 points. Steven Adams (nine points, 11 rebounds) was their only other significant contributor.
Markieff Morris (game-high 23 points, six rebounds) and Marcin Gortat (12 points, three blocks) dominated inside. Otto Porter (18 points, 12 rebounds) had his 10th double-double while Wall posted his 34th. Trey Burke (11 points) and Jason Smith (nine points, six rebounds) led a bench that added 30 points.
All five starters for Washington scored in double figures for an NBA-leading 21st time.
--The Wizards made 63 percent of their shots in the first half when they led 67-54. When the third quarter began, the Wizards went on a 24-3 run that was highlighted by a between-the-legs assist from Wall to Porter in transition for a dunk. Oklahoma City missed 24 shots in a row, including the end of the second quarter.
--Gortat’s help behind Wall to keep Westbrook out of the paint was exceptional. Westbrook didn’t have those runs to the rim where he dunked without traffic. The Wizards kept him angled from the rim and Gortat had three blocks in the first 24 minutes. They began the game by getting Gortat vs. Adams in isolations and he made both shots.
--Beal had the Thunder’s best one-on-one defender, Roberson, in foul trouble early. He attacked his closeout on the three-point line from the corner and Roberson had his second foul less than three minutes in.
--Morris was able to isolate at his position, too, adding to the difficulty the Thunder had in putting out the multiple fires being set all over the floor. He made 6 of 9 in the first half in his matchup with Sabonis, who wasn't strong enough and couldn't stay in front of Morris.
--Wizards coach Scott Brooks had to go back to most of his starters after his reserves played sloppy to begin the fourth. They scored 101 through the first three quarters but 23 turnovers for the game are too many. The Thunder only could turn those into 14 points.
--Wall entered the game with a sore left ankle that had kept him from practicing but only was needed for 30 minutes. Beal had foul trouble early but only was needed for 23 to get his damage done. Beal also got his 22 points on just eight shots.