OKC's rebounding pushes past Washington for the win.

By Addam Francisco

Monday night the Washington Wizards came to Oklahoma City hoping to be the next team to hang 100 and pray the Thunder have an off shooting night, but that wasn't the case at all as the Oklahoma City Thunder beat Washington 114-98. Spectacular perimeter defense and rebounding sealed the deal for Oklahoma City tonight. 

Defensively, the team was a lot better than usual. Not quite perfect, but very good. Rebounding may have been the biggest difference in this game for Oklahoma City, as they out-rebounded Washington 53-27 and had 14 offensive rebounds to their 2. That's enough reason there to justify this win, but even defensive intensity played a huge role for OKC as they held John Wall to 17 points off 41 percent shooting and 8 assists which is a little below his season average. The only real shining stars for Washington were Marcin Gortat who also scored 17 points but off a more efficient 8-of-12 shooting and Bradley Beal who scored 18 points off 7-of-15 shooting off the bench. No player for the Wizards scored 20 or more points. That's a testimony to Oklahoma City's defense tonight. 

Second chance points, they killed us. Then we turned the ball over a bit early on. Easy lay-ups and easy chances. When we had the opportunity we turned the ball over. We didn’t do a good job defensively on boards... When we rotated sometimes the still missed the shots. We didn’t come up with the boards, and then they get second-chance points for three’s or lay-ups, thats what put us in binds. When you’re playing from behind you get a team that’s making shots and getting the offensive rebound when they’re missing, it’s tough to win.
— Wizards guard John Wall on OKC's second-chance points.

 

The "big three" for OKC had a very efficient game. Russell Westbrook recorded his seventh triple-double of the season with 17 points off 8-of-13 shooting, 13 rebounds and 11 assists. Kevin Durant scored 28 points and had 9 rebounds and Serge Ibaka scored 19 points and pulled down 10 rebounds (3 offensive) to earn another double-double for him. These guys combined for 64 points off 25-of-43 shooting. Russell took advantage of this game early, by posting up Wall a couple of times for an easy lay-up. 4-of-5 Thunder starters scored in double-figures along with Enes Kanter's 14 points off the bench. 

Oklahoma City improves to (37-13) on the season, which is much better than where they were last year, (25-25) after 50 games. Their next game will be against the Orlando Magic at home on Wednesday.