NBA 2018-19: 3 Talking points from Oklahoma City Thunder vs Washington Wizards match-up
A lesser Wizards team without the odds of John Wall, Dwight Howard and Merkieff Morris blew the Oklahoma City Thunder to come up with a 116-98 victory. Thunder were coming off a good record with 3 consecutive wins against Lakers, Mavs and the division rivals Trail Blazers. The Thunder were expected to capitalize to the momentum but things didn't go their way as the Wizards ripped them apart quarter-by-quarter on the offensive ends.
Russell Westbrook was the only silver lining in OKC's performance who posted a triple-double. Westbrook ended with 22 points, 15 rebounds and 13 assists. Paul George didn't have a happy time shooting the ball, going 7-of-18 from the field and finished with 20 points.
Steven Adams started the night well on the offensive end going a perfect 5-5 in the first half but ended with only 12 points and 8 rebounds in 31 minutes that he played. Jerami Grant who showed some good glimpses offensively added 17 points to the Thunder score.
Wizards who were 0-9 since 2008 in Oklahoma City pulled off this win convincingly with four of the starters finishing in double digits. Porter Jr. who was back in action after a break from injury added 20 points, 6 rebounds and 5 assists in the win. Bradley Beal had a game-high 25 points (10 for 27 from the field) and 6 assists. Jeff Green came in help with 16 points and 6 rebounds.
“It’s great. I told the team that before we walked out tonight I’ve never won here,” Beal said. “Even when Brooks was here, I’ve never won here. So it’s just something I wanted everybody to keep on their mind.”
Here are the takeaways from today's blowout victory for the Wizards against the Thunder.
#3 Wizards out-rebounded the Thunder in the win
The Wizards were shorthanded in the beginning of the game against the skillful and dominant inside-the-paint excellence of Steven Adams and Jerami Grant who were rolling easy and scoring buckets in the first half.
But the defense that Wizards put was worth admiring which succeeded to limit the Thunder at 43.2% from the field. Wizards themselves shot at a modest 43.6% field conversion but dismantled the Thunder over rebounds (66-52) and only committed 9 turnovers over Thunder's 15.
Big-men Mahinmi (10 rebounds), Dekker (8 rebounds), Bryant (7 rebounds) and Porter Jr. (6 rebounds) were successful in limiting the Thunder scoring from the inside which also led to forced shots and turnovers.
Bradley Beal in the post-match interview said "We did a good job of paying attention to the game plan, and on the scout knowing that this is one of the best teams at offensive rebounding and converting points off of turnovers. Those were our key emphases tonight and we limited our turnovers and the amount of offensive rebounds that they got. Everything we needed to do we did collectively on the defensive end and on offense we just moved the ball, shared it, moved bodies, and took advantage of what they gave us.”