Without John Wall, Wizards end Thunder's winning streak
WASHINGTON (AP) —
This time, even without John Wall, the Washington Wizards managed to slow down Russell Westbrook, holding him to 13 points and ending his Oklahoma City Thunder's eight-game winning streak.
Knowing they are heading into what could be a significant stretch without their own All-Star point guard, the Wizards got 25 points from Otto Porter Jr., frustrated Westbrook all evening and beat the Thunder 102-96 on Tuesday.
Less than a week ago, Westbrook scored a season-high 46 points in a victory over Washington.
"He's a playmaker. We wanted to make sure he saw a crowd," said Wizards coach Scott Brooks, who used to coach Westbrook with OKC. "Not a lot of gaps, not a lot of openings."
Washington forward Markieff Morris gave his team a little less credit for Westbrook's woes on this night, saying: "He missed a lot of shots. A whole lot of shots."
That is certainly true.
Westbrook hit only 5 of 18 attempts and wound up with 10 assists, six rebounds and seven turnovers, then said he would "take ownership" for his team's loss.
He also was whistled for a technical foul in the second quarter and a flagrant foul in the third, when he went for a block and instead sent an arm to the chin of Marcin Gortat.
Someone else who played a key role was Wall's fill-in as the starting point guard, Tomas Satoransky. He finished with four points and six assists, including alley-oop feeds to Bradley Beal in the first half and Morris in the second. Satoransky also blocked a shot by Westbrook in the third quarter, something Beal managed to do in the fourth.
Then, with 39.4 seconds remaining, Satoransky broke a 96-all tie with a pair of free throws after he was fouled by Josh Huestis, who had turned the ball over.
On Oklahoma City's next possession, Carmelo Anthony shot an air ball, and Porter's two foul shots made it a four-point lead for the Wizards.
Satoransky's defense on Westbrook was "unbelievable," according to Porter.
"That was his assignment for tonight," Porter said. "To make it hard on Russ."
Beal had 21 points and nine assists for Washington, which announced about 7 1/2 hours before tipoff that Wall will have arthroscopic surgery on his left knee Wednesday.
Paul George had 20 points at halftime and finished with 28 for Oklahoma City, taking zero shots in the fourth quarter, something Westbrook defined this way: "That's my bad." Anthony scored 19, but he missed three shots in the final 30 seconds.
Neither team shot particularly well: The Wizards wound up making 38.2 percent of their field-goal attempts — they missed 13 consecutive 3-point tries in one stretch — and the Thunder were at 37.5 percent.
"We just didn't have good enough quality possessions," Thunder coach Billy Donovan said, "all the way around."
Thunder: Donovan and C Steven Adams also were assessed techs. ... OKC leads the NBA in opponent turnovers at 16.5 per game. The Wizards had 12. ... Anthony went 2 for 12 on 3s.
Wizards: Now 7-6 without Wall this season. ... Satoransky shot 0 for 4.
DONOVAN ON BEAL
Donovan had this to say about Beal, who played for him in college at Florida: "I always say this about Brad: He's got the 'it' factor. He's had it (since) a young age. I only had him for one year. I think winning is a high priority for him. It's really important for him."
Thunder: At Denver on Thursday.
Wizards: Host Toronto on Thursday.