The Thunder came into Washington feeling pretty good about themselves. They’re arguably the best team in basketball with arguably the best player on the planet in Kevin Durant.
If you’re on the Thunder roster and you see the worst team in the NBA up next on your schedule, you naturally take it as a “day off” so to speak.
They didn’t expect the Wizards to compete. Shoot. No one did. The fans filling the arena weren’t there to support their local team. They came to see D.C.-native Durant put on a show for the hometown crowd.
What they got was a little bit more than that.
In a game that was close all the way through, the Wizards managed to pull one of the greatest upsets of the season en route to earning only their second W on the year with a 105-102 victory over the NBA best 12-3 Oklahoma City Thunder, snapping a 7-game win streak.
It would be easy to say that the Thunder took the Wizards for granted and were simply caught on an off-night. But after a 33-point, 8-rebound night from Durant to go along with 36 points and 7 assists from Russell Westbrook, it might not be so crazy to assume the Wizards earned this victory.
Led by their explosive backcourt of John Wall and Nick Young, Washington benefited from being the more aggressive team. They won the rebound battle by +9 and attempted 13 more free throws than their opponents. The Wizards also forced more turnovers which turned into an additional 20 points as a result.
Wall finished with a near triple-double with 25 points, eight assists and seven boards while shooting 13-for-14 from the free throw line. Young provided sharp outside shooting (5-for-10 3pt FG) in addition to aggressive moves to the basket finishing 7-for-10 from the line.
At 2-12 the Wizards haven’t had much to celebrate this season. But an upset over the team with the best record might be the boost they need to get back on track the rest of the year.
Game Note: The Wizards received their first win over the Thunder in their last six meetings.