Washington silences Thunder Sunday in OKC

Russell Westbrook scored 22 points but had eight turnovers in Oklahoma City’s 116-98 home loss to Washington on Sunday.


That’s how Sunday night finished inside Chesapeake Energy Arena.

Abdel Nader dribbled out the Thunder’s final possession until the shot-clock buzzer buzzed.

Washington inbounded and a few seconds later, the final buzzer pierced a very quiet arena.

Somehow, the Wizards, who entered with just 15 victories on their resumé and who were beaten by Oklahoma City badly in the eighth game of the season in Washington, routed the Thunder 116-98.

But for Steven Adams’ early first-quarter work and Paul George’s 10-point second quarter, almost to a man, Oklahoma City appeared out of sorts.

The Thunder had claimed an emotional two-point victory, their first win at Portland in five seasons, only two nights earlier. Also, perhaps games like this just happen.

Paul George thought so.

“Just one of them nights,” he said.

In all the ways the Thunder tends to gain success, they failed against the Wizards.

“We have to defensive rebound above 80 percent every game,” coach Billy Donovan said.

That’s one of them and, instead, Washington put up 101 shots, missed 57 of them and the Thunder grabbed 34 of those misses: not quite 60 percent.

Additionally, the Wizards put up 13 more shots than Oklahoma City, which almost never happens; turned it over only nine times, five fewer than Oklahoma City, which almost never happens; and scored six more points at the free-throw line, too.

“In about every phase of the game, they outplayed us tonight,” Donovan said.

When the Wizards were outplaying the Thunder, they were outplaying the Thunder by a wide margin. One stat in Terrance Ferguson’s line told that story ridiculously well.

Ferguson played 36 minutes, more than every teammate but Russell Westbrook’s 37. Ferguson’s plus-minus figure was +5, meaning over the 12 minutes he spent on the bench, Washington outscored Oklahoma City by 23 points.

Much of that came in the third quarter, when the Thunder opened on an 8-0 run to lead 58-54 just 1:46 into the frame, only to be outscored by the Wizards 36-21 over quarter’s remaining 10:14.

Oklahoma City, which leads the league in offensive rebounding, grabbed only seven and gave up 16. The Warriors led the second-chance points category 22-13.

One more fact from the contest that made no sense?

Adams had 10 points on 4-of-4 shooting and 2-of-2 foul-shooting with 5:41 remaining in the first quarter. Though he played 25 more minutes, he attempted only two more shots.

“There’s so many things we didn’t do well enough. That may have been one of them,” Donovan said. “Again, we didn’t rebound well enough, we didn’t defend well enough, we didn’t run offense well enough … We just did not play well enough in any facet.”

After falling behind 104-81 with 6:18 remaining, the Thunder ran off eight points over three possessions: a natural three-point play from Westbrook, a Westbrook-assisted 3 from Jerami Grant and two free throws from Ferguson.

The next trip down, Washington’s Tomas Satoransky nailed a 3-pointer.

There was no coming back.

Westbrook hit 9 of 23 shots and led OKC with 22 points. George added 20 on 7-of-18 shooting. Grant made 7 of 11 and finished with 17.

For the Wizards, Bradley Beal had to put up 27 shots to score 25 points. Otto Porter added 20 off the bench and hit 4 of 6 3-pointers. Jeff Green added 16.

The Thunder appeared to take the loss in stride.

“You have nights like this sometimes,” Westbrook said. “We aren’t going to put our head down. We know what we’re capable of doing. This game is over and we’re on to the next.”

It will be difficult for that one to be as bad as this one.