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Wizards earn true team victory over Thunder, 102-96
Porter's 25, Satoransky's defense on Westbrook stood out on Tuesday night
Photos | Box Score
On the day it was announced John Wall will be out for the near future, the Wizards delivered a statement win over the Thunder on Tuesday night, 102-96. Oklahoma City came to D.C. winners of eight in a row, but the Wizards took care of business at Capital One Arena.
Otto Porter Jr. led the Wizards with 25 points and six rebounds, while Bradley Beal added 21 points, six rebounds, and nine assists. The Wizards held Oklahoma City to 37.5% shooting in the game and forced 21 turnovers in a true team victory. Washington made 27-of-29 (93.1%) free throws, and only turned it over 12 times.
Carrying over from their last game in Atlanta, the Wizards continued to share the ball effectively in the opening quarter. Washington tallied 10 assists on 11 field goals in the first quarter, and would finish the game with 27 assists on 34 made field goals. Porter, Beal, and Markieff Morris each scored seven points in the first 12 minutes to lead the Wizards. The Wizards were able to hold Steven Adams and Russell Westbrook to a combined 3-of-13 shooting, but Paul George had 12 points to lead the Thunder.
Beal’s 15 first half points and Porter’s 13 led the Wizards, while George finished with 20 in the first 24 minutes. After making six of their first eight 3-point attempts, the Wizards missed eight straight threes to close out the first half. Washington would only shoot 38.3% in the first half, but forced nine Thunder turnovers and held OKC to 40.9% shooting. Both teams assisted on 14 of their 18 field goals, with the Thunder leading 54-53 at the half.
The Wizards and Thunder went back-and-forth in the third quarter, each scoring 22 points in the period. Marcin Gortat had seven points, including five in one possession due to a Westbrook flagrant foul, to lead the Wizards. The Thunder turned it over seven times in the third, but the Wizards were only able to score five points off those turnovers. Oklahoma City would maintain its one-point lead heading into the fourth.
After the Wizards used an 8-0 run in the beginning of the fourth, the Thunder came back with a 12-3 run of their own to take a 90-86 lead. The Wizards would take a timeout with 4:45 to go, and came back to tie it in their next two possessions. The two teams exchanged buckets for the next few minutes to make it 96-96 with 56.3 seconds to go after a Beal layup tied it.
The Wizards forced a Josh Huestis turnover with 39.4 seconds left. Huestis decided to foul Satoransky to prevent the fast break, but the Wizards were in the bonus. Satoransky would hit both free throws, giving Washington a 98-96 lead. Carmelo Anthony, who was held to 7-of-21 shooting, missed a pull-up jumper on the ensuing possession. Porter got the rebound and hit both free throws to put the Wizards up four as the clock read 27.2 seconds. Anthony would miss again, this time from deep, with 24.1 seconds left and Huestis missed a putback. Morris, who finished with 18 points and six rebounds, hit both free throws to seal the victory on an 8-2 run.
Along with Porter’s offensive night, Tomas Satoransky locked down Russell Westbrook to only 5-of-18 shooting for 13 points and seven turnovers. Satoransky was physical with the reigning MVP, who dropped 46 points on the Wizards just five days ago. The Czech guard stepped up to lock down Westbrook, including a chase down block and some key late defensive possessions.
"Tomas really battled, and he was trying to stay in front of one of the fastest guards in the league, and with help from his teammates, we did a good job on [Russell] Westbrook," Scott Brooks said after the game. "He's a handful like we wanted to keep him under 46 and we did. We made some adjustments, and I thought our guys did a really good job of buying into it and executing it and not giving into it."
Without Wall, the Wizards have to play team basketball on both ends of the court, which they showed for the second consecutive game. Despite getting out-rebounded 52-43, the Wizards hung in there on the glass with Adams and the Thunder’s length. Even though George scored 28 points in the opening three quarters, the Wizards held him shotless and scoreless in the fourth quarter. Even though the Wizards only made one of their final 17 3-point attempts, they found ways to score and get to the line to pull out the win.
"We’re just playing for each other," Porter said after the game. "That’s what we tried to do: swing and attack, draw and kick and spot open threes. We trust that. We know shots are going to start falling and we’re going to try and get it done.”
Next up, the Wizards (28-22) will host the Raptors on Thursday night in another big game at 7:00pm in D.C.
“The same way," Morris said about the team's mentality heading into Thursday's game. "Just prepare for Toronto. We know we’re playing a little different without John [Wall], but we just have to keep our defensive intensity up and play together."