Posted March 26, 2013 on
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Kevin Durant and the Oklahoma City Thunder were stunned by a Washington Wizards team without John Wall earlier this season.
They'll certainly be paying close attention to Wall on Wednesday night.
Coming off one of the best individual performances of the NBA season, Wall may need a similar offensive effort in Oklahoma City if the Wizards plan to pull off a surprising sweep of the Thunder.
Wall missed 33 games at the beginning of the season while recovering from a knee injury, the last of which was Washington's 101-99 win over Oklahoma City on Jan. 7. Bradley Beal and Martell Webster helped spur that upset, finishing with 22 points apiece as the Wizards (26-44) won for only the fifth time in their first 33 games.
Beal likely won't be available Wednesday due to a nagging sprained ankle that's kept him out of nine of the last 12 games, but Wall has certainly looked healthy of late. He had the best game of his three-year career Monday against Memphis, finishing with 47 points, eight assists and seven rebounds in a 107-94 win.
"I was just in a zone. I made my first couple of shots and I knew I was in a great rhythm. Ten points in the first quarter, I knew I had it going," said Wall, who's averaged 21.8 points on 52.3 percent shooting in March.
Wall's performance was the Wizards' highest-scoring game since Antawn Jamison had 48 on April 17, 2007, and the NBA's third-most-productive individual scoring performance of the season.
Durant, who leads the NBA at 28.3 points per game, is No. 2 on that list thanks to a 52-point effort in Dallas on Jan. 18.
The Thunder (52-19) average 106.2 points to rank second in the league, but lately it's been their defense that's impressing coach Scott Brooks. Oklahoma City has held its last three opponents to 39.2 percent shooting, winning the past two while allowing an average of 86.0 points.
The Thunder trailed by two at halftime Sunday against Portland, but held the Trail Blazers to 31.0 percent shooting and 36 points in the final 24 minutes en route to a 103-83 win.
"You get extra opportunities because you're defending and you're rebounding and you're not giving them offensive rebounds," Brooks told the team's official website. "Not many teams want to run with us and we know we can play multiple styles, but we like to get out and run off of our defense.
"Our first three steps are pretty good and we want to continue to build on those habits. Offensively, we want to get out and run in transition."
These teams haven't faced each other in Oklahoma City in more than two years, with the last meeting a wild 124-117 Thunder win in two overtimes on Jan. 28, 2011. Durant led the way with 40 while Russell Westbrook had 35 points, 13 assists and 13 rebounds.
Wall shot 5 of 19 in that loss, but fared better the last time he saw the Thunder, scoring 25 points, dishing out eight assists and pulled down seven boards in a 105-102 win Jan. 18, 2012. Durant and Westbrook combined for 69 points.
The Thunder have averaged 113.0 points while winning the last three meetings in Oklahoma City. Durant had scored at least 32 in his previous five games against Washington before being held to 29 in January.
BEST OF MAXIM
AROUND THE WEB
Oklahoma City Thunder forward Kevin Durant and Miami Heat guard Dwayne Wade combined with Gatorade to make one of the best commercials I’ve seen this year.
Check the “Fixation” commercial out here:
H/T to Slam Online for the video.
Everyone is talking about how much of a threat John Wall has become. The man has blazing speed. He may be one of, if not, the fastest player in the league. Scouts and Agents (see David Falk) have been hard on John Wall, as there was one grave aspect that was lacking in his game.
It WAS his jump shot.
Yes, WAS and not IS. Amazing isn’t it?
Recently, Wall has been...
Justin Dougherty had one incredible Sunday night at the Thunder game, and it was capped by a hug from one of the best players in the NBA. Check out the below video of Justin nailing a half-court shot at halftime which landed him $20,000 and a bear hug from Kevin Durant. KD must have been watching when LeBron hugged a fan in Miami who also nailed a half-court shot for some big cash...
Justin Dougherty is going to be a popular guy for the next couple of days. Not only did the man win $20K after hitting a half-court shot during half time of the Oklahoma City Thunder/Portland game Sunday night, but he put one heck of a celebration--including a mid-court tackle by Kevin Durant!
To be honest, it lacks the spontaneous energy of LeBron James's tackle of a fan...
It must be hard to be one of the elite talents in the NBA and be stuck on a poor team like the Washington Wizards. So when he gets a nasty elbow like the one that Klay Thompson from the Warriors gave him Saturday it is understandable that he be a little upset.
What is not understandable is how he can keep running his mouth long after the play is done that the refs feel till the...
Kevin Durant and Dwyane Wade have teamed up with Gatorade for a pretty cool new commercial entitled Fixation.
The commercial reenacts the NBA Finals matchup between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the Miami Heat from last year’s playoffs. From the YouTube description, “Fixation is a story about the relentless inner drive of athletes to be the best they can be.” Durant even...
There have been no dramatic half-court shots hit during the NCAA tournament, so an Oklahoma City Thunder fan had to step up in March Madness’ absence.
As long as we’re comparing Justin Dougherty‘s dramatic $20,000 shot to March Madness, that makes Kevin Durant the walk-on benchwarmer who’s sole responsibility is to celebrate as much as possible. Durant jumped on Dougherty...
Washington (AP) — John Wall scored a career-high 47 points and added eight assists, Emeka Okafor had 21 points and nine rebounds, and the undermanned Washington Wizards beat the Memphis Grizzlies, 107-94 Monday night., http://juicedsportsblog.com/sports-news/news/wall-scores-47-as-wizards-beat-grizzlies-10794-yahoo-sports
Wizards beat Memphis for sixth straight home win as John Wall goes off for 47 points, the third-highest total in the NBA this season. He’s on fire. [WaPo]
Pradamaster is all over the mechanics of Wall’s jumper. [Bullets Forever]
Randy Wittman didn’t like the Wiz being compared to a circus. [USAT Sports]
The Wiz are giving out replica 1978 championship rings on April 6. [Bog...
So, Nike has introduced some new superhero shoes for Lebron James, Kobe Bryant and Kevin Durant. Superhero shoes? Yeah, basically Nike had to release some new shoes for the NBA playoffs, and came up with a superhero theme. Officially, this is the Elite Series 2.0 line and, truth be told, they are pretty sweet.
There's a little bit of a sticking point, though: They violate the...
wizards 107 grizzlies 94
3/25/2013 - Verizon Center, Washington, DC
NBA.com Game Highlights
I feel just the way Randy Wittman did when trying to open up his post-game presser after tonight's game.
“I don’t know where to begin,” Wittman said as he settled into his seat in front of the media.
And I don’t blame...
If there's a reason to watch Friday night's matchup between the Washington Wizards and Orlando Magic, it may be to see John Wall.
These teams have numerous players unavailable as Wall tries to help the visiting Wizards end a six-game road losing streak against a Magic team that has dropped eight straight.
Washington (26-45) had only eight players available in its last contest...
The old saying goes that "lightning never strikes twice."
Evidently, the same can't be said about thunder.
For the second time in a month, a fan has hit a half-court shot at an Oklahoma City Thunder game to win 20,000.
On Sunday night, Justin Dougherty, a television reporter from Springfield, MO, was selected to participate in the Thunder's 3rd quarter shooting...