Nearly spellbound

One thing about the Washington Wizards: they’ll shoot if there’s an opportunity, and sometimes if there isn’t. This works about half the time, or at least it did earlier in the game; the Wizards dropped to 47 percent shooting, and second-chance points were few and far between. (One set of numbers screams this at you: the Thunder outrebounded the Wiz, 53-27, and only two of those Washington retrievals were off the offensive glass.) Still, a high-velocity offense will not save you against one that’s running at an even higher speed, and tonight Oklahoma City was cranking it up, at least when they weren’t coughing it up, hitting 52 percent on the way to a 114-98 win and a 2-0 season sweep of the Pirates of the Potomac.

As usual, the big-number grabbers grabbed big numbers: Kevin Durant glided to 28 points, Serge Ibaka pounded home 19 with ten rebounds, and there’s Yet Another Russell Westbrook triple-double, 17-13-11. And everyone was delighted to see the return of Cameron Payne, sidelined for a couple of games due to concussion-like symptoms; he sprang for eight points in 12 minutes. Wizards sixth man Bradley Beal, from Florida in the Billy Donovan days, paced Washington with 18, mostly in the second half; John Wall, who played all but seven minutes, followed with 17.

The homestand ends Wednesday, with the arrival of the Magic from Orlando. (Well, actually, they’re arriving from San Antonio, where the Spurs at the writing are drubbing them.) Then comes Saturday, and the first visit to the Golden Gate. The Warriors, who have won like a bazillion in a row, haven’t lost on their home floor all year, and Steph Curry has already guaranteed a Warriors win. (He later did the Ha Ha Only Kidding backpedal, but he meant it. Steph always means it.) If the Thunder can pull that one out — but that’s a pretty fair-sized if, even for a team with the fourth-best record in the league.





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