JAVALE MCGEE MIRED IN CONTROVERSY
Washington center JaVale McGee was at the center of a mini-controversy over the past two days for a showboating sequence that occurred in the third quarter of the Wizards' game against Houston on Monday.
Midway through the period, McGee took a pass from point guard John Wall on a one-man fast break and threw a pass to himself off the backboard. McGee converted the dunk but coach Flip Saunders took exception to his center's antics, especially since the Wizards were trailing in the game at that point and had lost 10 of 11 games before eventually falling against the Rockets.
“It's a learning experience,” said Saunders. “We pointed it out to him and explained it to him and just keep on trying to explain to him the idea of substance. You want to play with substance rather than playing just for the highlight in that type of situation.”
WIZARDS TURNOVERS TAKING A TOLL
The Wizards enter Wednesday's game averaging just 15.3 turnovers, which is slightly less than the Thunder. But Washington has been burned by opponents scoring off its giveaways, and that could be a deciding factor Wednesday with the Thunder being arguably the best team in transition scoring.
“In our game, we're losing right now as much as anything because we're turning the ball over,” Saunders said. “We've only had two opponents where we've had less turnovers than in a game. One of those, we won the game. It was against Toronto.”
Following practice in Washington, D.C. on Tuesday, Thunder players and coaches took a group field trip to the memorial honoring Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. … The Thunder wore home white jerseys at Boston on Monday night because of a special request the Celtics put into the league for the Martin Luther King Jr. Day game. Boston wore its alternate green jerseys with the black stripe along the side. The Thunder is scheduled to wear home whites at two more road games this season … The Thunder swept the two-game series against the Wizards last season, winning by an average margin of 17 points … Durant averaged 36 points against Washington last season … The Thunder has assigned forward Ryan Reid to the Tulsa 66ers of the NBA D-League.
Washington coach Saunders on Durant: “I'd say right now if I had to pick an MVP, he'd be the MVP of the league, just the way he's played and how good his team has played.”
The Thunder will face Washington inside the Verizon Center on Wednesday. It will be the only meeting between the Thunder and Wizards this season. Tipoff is scheduled for 6 p.m.