Bradley Beal scored 22 including the game winner with .3 seconds left to lift the Washington Wizards ahead of the Oklahoma City Thunder 101-99.
The Thunder were down 10 after the first, but was able to come back and go into halftime up 2 after Ibaka hit a buzzer beating 3 to end the first half. The Thunder went on a cold streak in the second half, going nearly 12 minutes with a made FG and giving up a double digit lead. The Thunder clawed their way back at the end of the game, and Kevin Durant hit a game tying 3 with 15 seconds left before Beal went down to hit the game winner.
Kevin Durant led the Thunder with 29 points, while Serge Ibaka added a career high 26.
What is your initial reaction to tonight's result?
While Washington has the worst record in the NBA, they beat OKC in their only meeting last year, and upset Miami earlier this year. Despite that, the Thunder were unable to put away a Washington team missing their 2 best players (John Wall has not played this entire season, and Nene was held out of tonight's lineup).
Instead the Wizards were led by Bradley Beal and Martell Webster. To better show the talent mismatch between theses two lineups. The Wizards started Garrett Temple, who was arguable the 5th best player on the Thunder's summer league team about 6 months ago.
What was, overall, the main reason why the Thunder lost?
Poor shot selection doomed the Thunder tonight. There's absolutely no reason any NBA team should go 12 minutes without a made field goal. Both Kevin Martin and Russell Westbrook combined for 7-29 on the night. Both of them had terrible shot selection tonight, combine that with a lack of rebounding and poor paint defense and it's hard to beat any team in the NBA.
What was a key statistic to understanding the game?
The Thunder went nearly than 11 minutes without a made field goal. Starting at 6:10 left in the third, and ending with 7:33 left in the fourth. By the time the Thunder finally made a field goal they were still down 8.
Despite having Ibaka and Kendrick Perkins in the game, the Thunder were even with the Wizards in rebounding, and allowed 38 points in the paint. Allowing the Wizards to get easy buckets and making the Thunder's comeback harder and harder.
What does this game mean to the Thunder tonight and going forward?
The Thunder head back home to face off against the Minnesota Timberwolves on Wednesday. The Timberwolves ended the Thunder's winning streak earlier in the year. After suffering an embarrassing loss tonight, let's hope this time the Thunder are able to avenge this loss.
|Final - 1.7.2013||1||2||3||4||Total|
|Oklahoma City Thunder||20||33||20||26||99|
Thunder Wonder: Serge Ibaka, 26 points, 11 rebounds, 2 blocks
Thunder Down Under: Kevin Durant, 29 points, 7 rebounds, 8 assists.
Thunder Blunder: Kevin Martin, 8 points, 3-12 FGs.
Thunder Plunderer: Bradley Beal, 22 points, 5 Rebounds, 4 Assists
Next game: vs. Minnesota Timberwolves, on Jan. 8th @ 7 CDT
If you are looking for tickets to upcoming games, you can find Oklahoma City Thunder tickets here.