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March 28, 2013

Wizards’ luck runs out in Thunder rout

(Continued)

NORMAN —

Oklahoma City (53-19) got 21 points from Russell Westbrook and 18 from Kevin Durant, who shot 4 for 10 from the field. Kevin Martin Martin had 18 points on 6-for-9 shooting, including 3 for 4 from behind the arc.

Serge Ibaka led the defensive charge with four blocked shots as the Thunder held their opponent under 90 points for the fourth straight contest.

“We are doing a much better job on the ball,” Brooks said. “Doing a much better job of keeping the ball out of the paint. Our bigs are doing a fantastic job of changing, altering and blocking shots. Serge is on a nice defensive rhythm right now with his shot blocking.”

The point guard matchup between Westbrook and Wall had to wait after Westbrook picked up two fouls in the first three minutes of action. He went to the bench for the rest of the first quarter, leaving Wall to try to have his way with reserve Reggie Jackson.

However, the entire Oklahoma City squad had a hard time containing Wall.

The Thunder were called for eight fouls in the first period, and five of them came because of guarding Wall. That included Durant fouling Wall on a desperation 3-pointer right before the end of the first quarter. Wall’s free throws cut the Thunder’s lead to 29-23 heading into the second half.

When Wall wasn’t on the floor, the rest of the Wizards had a difficult time creating their own shots. They were able to stay in the contest because of Emeka Okafor hustling on the offensive boards. He didn’t pull down the rebounds but kept coming up with tap-outs that led to points for Washington.

Yet, Durant, Martin and Westbrook did just enough to give Oklahoma City a 53-45 halftime advantage.

The Thunder went on a 17-9 run to start the third quarter. Thabo Sefolosha led the charge with eight quick points.

“I think we just scrambled hard,” Durant said. “We were getting our hands on some basketballs.”

Michael Kinney

Follow me @eyeamtruth

mkinney@normantranscript.com

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