Story By: Erin Zollars
Photos By: Sol Tucker
Usually when a team misses 24 consecutive shots, most likely, the Thunder are not the the first team that come to mind. Tonight it was the Wizards that were blazing the nets and the Thunder, they just sort of showed up to play.
John Wall continues to get things done for the Wizards and tonight just had every answer to shut down Russell Westbrook and the Thunder.
“From me guarding him, to the other four guys on the court,” said Wall, who had 15 points and 14 assists, “we did a great job of just making him see bodies and trying to challenge him at the rim without fouling.”
Beal, who scored 22 points, and joined Otto Porter in spending some time covering Westbrook, too, declared: “He wasn’t comfortable.”
For Westbrook, he has fallen on hard times with this team the news of a possible trade this week involving Anthony Davis is seeming more probable after the All Star break. He is just not going to be able to get things done with this squad in Oklahoma City unless they offer to bring in in some help.
Westbrook entered averaging 31.2 points, 10.6 rebounds and 10.2 assists. But he equaled his second-lowest scoring total of the season on 5-for-19 shooting and added only four rebounds and four assists. He missed nine straight field-goal attempts during that eye-opening drought when the Thunder were being outscored 32-5 from the second quarter to the third.
After the game some people questioned how tired the Thunder were coming into this game and a physical match up against Golden State and the Cavs, but Head Coach Billy Donovan didn’t give that as an excuse for his team tonight.
“I don’t know if I’d use the word `hangover,’ but I think I made the comment before the game — someone asked me about the emotional part, and I was worried about it. I was,” Donovan said. “We talked about it, and we were not at the level that I’ve seen our guys at.”