Lost to injury or illness, all but eight; but John Wall was back, Washington’s played over .500 ball since he returned, and the Thunder spent most of the first quarter fouling Wall in an effort to keep him from doing what he does best. (Wall wound up taking 15 free throws, making 12 of them.) Oklahoma City pulled the starters with 5:16 left, figuring the Wizards couldn’t do much about the 20-point deficit, and indeed, Washington left three starters in because they didn’t have anyone else. The final was 103-80, and the ribbons at the horn could be considered the curtain of charity.
Then again, if you want to see foul shots, the Thunder took 41 of them, making 37. OKC even knocked down the majority of their treys (8-14), something we haven’t seen enough of lately. They won this one, though, with defense: five Wizards landed in double figures, but the mighty John Wall was held to 18 points on 3-18 shooting and 12 assists, and Washington shot only 32 percent. The three-man bench, however, did manage a creditable 26.
With abbreviated minutes for the OKC first string, the points were a bit more evenly spread than usual, with Kevin Durant collecting only 21, Russell Westbrook 20, and Kevin Martin 18; no one else made double figures. What Scott Brooks is most likely to mention, though, is that Washington actually bagged more rebounds, 43-41. The man is never happy.
Coming up: a back-to-back in the Great (Still) White North, Friday at Minnesota, Saturday at Milwaukee. Winter isn’t done with us yet.