Wizards' Best Road Effort Can't End Losing Streak

Thunder 124, Wizards 117, 2OT

By JEFF LATZKE
|  Saturday, Jan 29, 2011  |  Updated 1:45 PM EDT
View Comments (
)
|
Email
|
Print
NFL Cheerleaders: Super Bowl Edition

Getty Images

advertisement
Photos and Videos
More Photos and Videos

Even the Washington Wizards' best performance on the road this season wasn't enough to end a losing streak that's nearing record length.

Kevin Durant scored 10 of his 40 points in the second overtime, Russell Westbrook added his third triple-double of the season and the Oklahoma City Thunder kept the Wizards winless on the road with a 124-117 victory on Friday night.

Durant ran off eight straight points on a three-point play, a tiebreaking 3-pointer from the right wing and a jumper from the top of the key as the Thunder finally took the lead for good after 55 minutes.

Washington fell to 0-22 on the road, matching the third-worst start in NBA history.

"That's the best game we have played on the road," Washington's Andray Blatche said. "We fought and we put ourselves in a position to win before overtime and before the second overtime.

"Durant is a wonderful scorer. He created shots for himself and got his team the win."

Durant missed a 3-pointer at the end of regulation after Nick Young's tying jumper with 13.1 seconds left.

Both teams squandered chances in the first overtime after Young again tied it up on a jumper with 1:57 remaining. The Wizards had the last shot after James Harden used Oklahoma City's foul to give with 5.5 seconds left. Young missed from the foul line, and Rashard Lewis's tip wouldn't fall.

And that was as close as the Wizards would get to snapping their skid. Only Dallas (29) in 1992-93 and the New Orleans Jazz (28) in 1974-75 have started seasons with more losses in a row on the road.

"It was a team that was scrappy, looking for a road win," Durant said. "They've got a lot of talent. They fought hard."

Westbrook had 35 points, 13 rebounds and 13 assists, and Jeff Green added 13 points and 12 rebounds as Oklahoma City needed extra time to beat a last-place opponent for the second straight game.

"That's what this league is about," Thunder coach Scott Brooks said. "You have to win your share of close games and continue to improve your record."

Young scored 32 points, and Trevor Booker set new career highs with 21 points and 12 rebounds while starting in place of JaVale McGee (flu) for Washington. Lewis scored 22, rookie John Wall had 13 points and 10 assists, and Blatche also scored 13 as all five Wizards starters reached double figures.

It was only the second time this season Washington even forced overtime on the road, and the first time going to double overtime. Only two of the Wizards' road losses have been by less than seven points.

"We had chances," coach Flip Saunders said. "We had some mental mistakes in key times. We talked about it before, having guys that just finish games and that is what Durant did. He finished the game down the end when they needed it."

Durant drove along the left side and drew Booker's sixth foul, hitting a layup in the process. His free throw tied it at 115 with 3:10 left in double OT, and he kept piling on with his 3 and jumper after that.

Saunders called timeout, but a miss by Young and Westbrook's easy layup put away the game.

Oklahoma City hosts Miami on Sunday, but Durant thought the Thunder merely had their usual early game problems and weren't overlooking the Wizards.

"You can't do that with any team in this league. Guys are too good," Durant said. "You (saw) it tonight. Their confidence got bigger and bigger, and the basket got wider and wider for them. But I think we did a good job of fighting back, making them take tough shots and Russell did a good job of controlling the game and we just fed off his energy."

Oklahoma City had to wipe away a 36-24 deficit in the first half and then quickly climbed out of a seven-point hole early in the fourth quarter before falling behind again. Nick Collison had back-to-back baskets before Daequan Cook nailed a 3-pointer from the left wing to finish a run of eight straight points and put the Thunder up 83-82 with 8:52 to play.

Blatche answered at the other end with a reverse layup that turned into a three-point play, and the Wizards eventually went up 99-95 after Young's two free throws with 2:55 left in the fourth.

Westbrook scored the next five points to put Oklahoma City back on top, and Durant's jumper from the top of the key -- following a pair of missed free throws by Wall -- put Oklahoma City up 102-99 with 1:04 left in regulation.

Blatche followed with a bucket inside and Durant, the NBA's ninth-leading free-throw shooter at 89 percent, then left the door open for Young to tie it by missing his first of two shots with 16.9 seconds on the clock.

He made up for it later on.

"I couldn't throw a rock in the ocean at the end of the fourth," Durant said. "Russell carried us into that overtime, and I just wanted to give him some help."

Get the latest headlines sent to your inbox!
View Comments (
)
|
Email
|
Print
Leave Comments
Join the Ride to Conquer Cancer
Join the Ride To Conquer Cancer, Sept. 13 Read more
Follow Us
Sign up to receive news and updates that matter to you.
Send Us Your Story Tips
Check Out