Without Wall, Wizards end Thunder’s winning streak
WASHINGTON — Beginning what could be a significant stretch without All-Star point guard John Wall, the Washington Wizards got 25 points from Otto Porter Jr., limited Russell Westbrook to 13 and stopped Oklahoma City’s eight-game win streak with a 102-96 victory over the Thunder on Tuesday night.
Bradley 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 28 points for Oklahoma City, but zero in the fourth quarter. Carmelo Anthony scored 19, but he missed three shots in the final 30 seconds. Westbrook wound up with 10 assists, six rebounds and seven turnovers and made only 5 of 18 shots.
Wall, picked for his fifth All-Star game last week, is second on the Wizards in scoring, averaging 19.4 points, and is second in the league with 9.3 assists per game.
In July, he agreed to a $170 million, four-year contract extension that starts next season.
Tomas Satoransky started in Wall’s place and finished with four points and six assists, including alley-oop feeds to Beal in the first half and Markieff 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, Anthony shot an air ball, and Porter’s two foul shots made it a four-point lead for the Wizards.
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.
Washington’s first five baskets came via five assists, each off a pass from a different player. And in the first quarter, which ended with the hosts ahead 30-25, the Wizards had 10 assists — credited to seven players — on their 11 field goals.
At halftime, the Thunder were ahead 54-53, thanks to Jerami Grant’s 20-foot buzzer-beating jumper and 20 points from George on 7-for-11 shooting.
Thunder: Westbrook 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 Wizards C Marcin Gortat. Coach Billy 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 Tuesday.
Wizards: Entered the night 6-6 without Wall this season. … Porter went to the locker room with about 4 1/2 minutes left in the third quarter; it wasn’t immediately clear why. He returned to the game early in the fourth.
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.
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.