Wizards stretch winning streak to seven by beating Thunder

After seven wins in a row, the wizards have not been bored so far. Washington secured the longest streak of victories since 2017, scooping another Oklahoma City win (129-109) by keeping things simple and sticking to their strengths against a Thunder team that haven’t won this month.

“It means a lot,” said Beal of the seven-game track. “It’s just evidence of our growth over the year. We had some of the craziest stories that happened to our team, injuries and Covid and all that. We never really got a chance to be full – we are still not full. But we got a lot of our guys back, got the guys out of the minutes [restrictions]. Fortunately, we’re playing our best basketball right now. “

At the head of the indictment on Friday was Russell Westbrook, who electrified the pitch he was home on and his 28th triple double of the season – and his 22nd in the last 35 games – in under 30 seconds in the fourth Quarter ended with 37 points, 11 rebounds and 11 assists. With 174 career triple doubles, the point guard is seven minutes away from breaking Oscar Robertson’s NBA record.

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Beal was just as hot, scoring 33 points on 12v24 shooting and adding six rebounds. All the necessary supporting players were considered, with the sniper Davis Bertans scoring 12 points, but his four three-point points mattered with impeccable timing. Guard Raul Neto, a Swiss Army Knife for Washington (26-33), added 15 points.

“I think one thing Russ wanted to keep in mind is how good we are,” said Neto. “Even though we didn’t win any games at the beginning, we had good games. We beat some good teams. We know what we can do in this league so I think that’s the most important thing. And not getting tired of doing the same thing over and over again. We’ve done it for the last seven or eight games and we have to do it to the end. “

Even the underutilized striker Anthony Gill was ready: he scored nine points and had 10 rebounds. Due to a hair break in his right lower leg, he was able to effectively end Avdija’s season. Striker Isaac Bonga earned a start in his place but only played 11 minutes and scored three points.

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Gill played an average of 5.3 minutes before playing on Friday 20 and has received high praise from coach Scott Brooks, Beal, Westbrook and Neto for all of the unseen work he has done this season.

“We have a group of us guys who don’t play a lot and we call ourselves ‘The Trenches’ and we work hard every day and I love being with these guys,” said Gill. “We motivate each other by working hard on the pitch. I’m not alone in the gym every day. “

Together, the All-Stars and their supporting cast gave Oklahoma City (20-40) their 13th consecutive loss. Theo Maledon and Darius Bazley led the thunder with 20 points each.

The Wizards opened the third quarter with the defensive will they lacked in the first half and took the lead by 10 points, which cemented their influence on the game. Though Beal and Westbrook carried the offensive and seemed to be enjoying showing off their chances with seeming ease – they had collected 55 points five minutes before the quarter ended – they all had a hand to keep Washington on top.

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But not everything was perfect from the start.

The solid defense Washington has been playing lately was nowhere to be found in the first quarter. According to statistics website Cleaning the Glass, which reduces garbage time, the Wizards have the sixth-best defensive rating in the NBA since the All-Star hiatus in early March, a distance they walked between 11 and 13.

That was the element Brooks said the wizards had to do the most against a young, often free-roaming team from Oklahoma City. Still, Washington tried to get a 70-68 lead at halftime, scoring a goal instead, scoring 54.5 percent and looking to its All-Stars to take the lead.

“The only thing that was said at halftime was to wake up [blank] up, ”said Brooks, mouthing a swear word.

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The wizards did that and in the second half Washington was undeniable. It controlled the pace and selected the shots it wanted – even with its subordinate squad and inconsistent defenses – to keep its streak alive with no fatigue in sight. Brooks said Beal shared his memory again after the game and told his team to keep his head down.

“We’re not where we want to be. We want to get involved, participate and who knows? “Said Brooks. “We might be able to move up further.”