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OKC Thunder: Russell Westbrook to square off with Wizards' John Wall

While the Thunder point guard has sometimes turned a matchup with a top point guard into a one-on-one duel, he is only worried about winning the game against Washington.
by Darnell Mayberry Published: March 26, 2013

History suggests Westbrook is better off when he sacrifices scoring in matchups against the best of the best. In his 18 wins against the aforementioned point guards since the start of the 2010-11 season, Westbrook has attempted 17.2 shots while averaging 8.3 assists and shooting 48.7 percent. In the 18 losses, Westbrook has attempted 18.8 shots while averaging 6.3 assists and connecting on 42.8 percent of his shots.

Similar results, albeit a sample size of just three games, are seen in Westbrook's outcomes against Wall.

Westbrook is 2-1 against Wall, and in those contests Westbrook has excelled as a scorer and a facilitator, averaging 19.6 points and 10.7 assists.

But Wall has held his own, averaging 17.3 points, 6.3 rebounds and 7.7 assists. Adding to the intrigue this time around, Wall will walk into Chesapeake Energy Arena fresh off a career-high 47 points in a win over Memphis on Monday night.

“It can't be a personal matchup but it has to be a pride matchup. That's how the game works,” said Thunder coach Scott Brooks. “You have games within games. But (Westbrook's) prideful. He wants to do well within that, but it's always about the team. He knows that he can have a big game and we win or he can have a game that he doesn't score a lot and we win.”

Westbrook was asked if keeping Wall from posting a second consecutive 40-point night is part of the pride needed in this matchup. His response was short and sweet.

“Yeah,” he said. “For sure.”

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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Thunder vs. Wizards

When: 7 p.m. Wednesday

Where: Chesapeake Energy Arena

TV: Fox Sports Oklahoma (Cox 37/HD 722, DirecTV 679, Dish 447, U-Verse 754/HD 1754)

Radio: WWLS 98.1-FM, WWLS 640-AM

Three things to know

* This is the second and final meeting between the Thunder and Wizards. Washington won the first game, 101-99, in Washington on Jan. 7.

* Wizards point guard John Wall did not play in the first meeting. He is now healthy and is coming off a career-high 47 points against Memphis on Monday night.

* After starting the season 5-28 while Wall was recovering from an ailing knee, Washington has gone 21-16 with Wall in the lineup.


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