Thunder Rumblings

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Nuggets from my notebook from Saturday's loss at Washington

by Darnell Mayberry Published: February 1, 2014
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Is anybody really surprised?…

  • It’s just something about Thunder at Wizards.
  • That’s now three straight losses for OKC at Washington. Each one has been more mystifying than the last. In 2012, the 1-12 Wizards snapped a seven-game Thunder winning streak with a three-point win. Last season, Bradley Beal hit a game-winner to lift an injury-plagued 4-28 Wizards squad to a two-point victory. Tonight, the Thunder got drubbed by 15 after coming out sluggish and sloppy and looking like anything but the league’s hottest team.
  • “We didn’t do a lot of things that we’ve done on this road trip,” said Thunder coach Scott Brooks. “We grew on this road trip. Two of our wins were good wins. Today, I thought we didn’t improve tonight, which is disappointing but it’s not the end of the world. We’ve done a good job of bouncing back and getting better.”
  • Turnovers were the story of the game. The Thunder had two in the first two minutes and 10 in the opening quarter. OKC finished with 21, leading to 23 Wizards points.
  • It was unbelievable how bad the Thunder’s ball security was. This was just the fourth time in the New Year that the Thunder turned it over at least 20 times. But that fourth quarter was just incredible. Kevin Durant threw two sloppy passes. Kendrick Perkins got whistled for an illegal screen. Thabo Sefolosha lost his dribble on a fast break. Reggie Jackson threw a pass between Perk’s legs and out of bounds. Perk lost a rebound after a gorgeous rejection by Serge Ibaka. Jackson lost the ball. Jackson charged into Marcin Gortat. Nick Collison got picked off while trying to get it to KD. And…finally…Collison threw it away on an inbounds pass intended for Derek Fisher. Whew.
  • Brooks: “Not a good job of protecting the basketball…We’ve been a lot better with the turnovers. Tonight, it got away from us.”
  • Durant and Jackson combined for 13 of the Thunder’s turnovers. Jackson had three charges tonight.
  • With 8:04 left in the first quarter, the Thunder couldn’t inbound the ball from the side and had to take a timeout to avoid another turnover.
  • Thanks to the turnovers, the Wizards got out to a 12-2 lead. OKC was 1-for-9 from the field.
  • Durant’s first field goal didn’t come until 7:46 was left in the first quarter. He missed his first two shots and it felt really weird after what he did in January.
  • Wizards led 25-13 after the first quarter. The 13 first-quarter points were the fewest the Thunder has scored in the opening period this season.
  • Jackson’s show and go on Wall with 5:08 left in the first was beautiful.
  • Thunder had a four-minute, seven-second scoring drought in the second quarter. Collison ended it with an acrobatic layup that sparked a 14-0 run and got the Thunder back within one after trailing 35-20.
  • Perk to a shot to the face in the first quarter, resulting in blood trickling from his right eye. He got stitched up in the locker room and returned.
  • Felt like a tennis match in here tonight. So many came to see Durant and the Thunder. But you also had the home faithful. So whenever anything good happened, there was appreciative applause.
  • John Wall and Bradley Beal had four points on a combined 1-for-13 in the first half. And the Thunder trailed by four.
  • Wall controlled the third quarter with 13 points and seven assists. He scored 15 of his 17 points in the second half. Beal never got it going. After a career-high 34 points in November, he  scored just seven on 3-for-12 shooting tonight.
  • Fisher had a four-point play opportunity tonight.
  • Durant on the possibility of playing for the Wizards.
  • I didn’t understand why Brooks didn’t reinsert Durant and Ibaka with 4:35 left to play. The Thunder had cut a 17-point lead to 13, forcing Washington to call timeout. I thought KD and Ibaka might return. They didn’t. Seemed like you’d want to give the hottest team in the league one more crack at continuing the streak. Oh well. Moving on.
  • Up next: Memphis on Monday.

by Darnell Mayberry
OKC Thunder Senior Reporter
Darnell Mayberry grew up in Langston, Okla. and is now in his third stint in the Sooner state. After a year and a half at Bishop McGuinness High, he finished his prep years in Falls Church, Va., before graduating from Norfolk State University in...
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