Thunder 103, Wizards 80

Associated Press  |  Last updated March 28, 2013
Russell Westbrook scored 21 points, Kevin Durant added 20 and the Oklahoma City Thunder beat the Washington Wizards 103-80 on Wednesday night. Kevin Martin had 18 points for the Thunder, who came in 1 1/2 games behind San Antonio for the top spot in the Western Conference. San Antonio was hosting Denver. Washington had won its previous two games against Oklahoma City, winning the only meeting during the lockout-shortened 2011-12 season before stunning the Thunder 101-99 in Washington on Jan. 7 - the second despite playing without point guard John Wall. Wall, coming off 47 points in a win over Memphis, overcame 3-of-18 shooting to finish with 18 points and 12 assists, but he had limited help. Numerous injuries and illness left the Wizards with only eight players in uniform. Washington was missing Trevor Ariza (flu), Leandro Barbosa (torn left knee ligament), Bradley Beal (sprained left ankle), Nene (sore right knee), Martell Webster (abdominal strain) and A.J. Price (sort right groin). Oklahoma City enjoyed a major advantage at the free throw line, finishing 37-of-41 compared to 21-of-29 for Washington. Durant went 10-of-10 and Westbrook was 10-of-11. The Thunder trailed briefly during the opening four minutes and the Wizards hung close for a while. Wall, despite shooting 1-of-11 from the field, still almost had a double-double by halftime, hitting eight of 11 free throws for 10 points to go with nine assists. An early 8-0 run put Oklahoma City up 10-5 and the Thunder never trailed again. The Thunder built their lead to 45-34 after two free throws by Westbrook with 4:57 left in the first half and was up 53-45 at halftime. Westbrook had 15 points at halftime. Consecutive 3-pointers by Westbrook and Thabo Sefolosha put Oklahoma City ahead 70-54 with 7:20 left in the third quarter and the Wizards never cut the margin to single digits the rest of the way. Oklahoma City has won nine of its last 10 home games and in the nine victories they've won by an average of 22 points. Washington shot 32.1 percent from the field. Garrett Temple scored 13 points for the Wizards, while Cartier Martin and Kevin Seraphin each had 12 and Trevor Booker 10. Kendrick Perkins had 11 rebounds for the Thunder and Emeka Okafor grabbed 10. Notes: Among those in attendance was Oklahoma State basketball coach Travis Ford, who had one of the nation's top freshmen this season in Marcus Smart. Smart hasn't declared yet if he'll enter the upcoming NBA draft. Ford spoke briefly with Thunder general manager Sam Presti . Washington coach Randy Wittman, an Indiana product, was critical of former Indiana coach Kelvin Sampson before the game. When asked about the Hoosiers' success thus far in the NCAA tournament, Wittman called it ''really gratifying'' and said Indiana has recovered from NCAA sanctions imposed for violations that occurred during Sampson's time as coach. Wittman said Indiana had ''a rich tradition that was built up over 30, 40, 50 years and in the matter of 18 months, it was torn completely down.'' Sampson is now an assistant coach with the Houston Rockets . Washington has won 14 games this season against Western Conference foes, the most for the Wizards since winning 14 during the 2006-07 season . The Thunder recorded their 51st straight regular-season sellout at Chesapeake Energy Arena, with 37 of those this season . Backup guard Derek Fisher scored two points in 14 minutes of action for Oklahoma City, his first points in five games.
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