The Norman Transcript

National Sports

January 8, 2013

Thunder fall to Wizards on road

(Continued)

WASHINGTON —

“We let them stick around, because we’re not taking them serious enough,” Durant said. “We can’t do that, man. We can’t do that.”

Nene (right knee tendinitis) and Jordan Crawford (sore left ankle) missed the game with injuries.

Nene has played just 20 games this season while dealing with a foot problem (plantar fasciitis), but he had played in the Wizards’ previous eight contests. He’s averaging 12.9 points and 6.3 rebounds per game.

Crawford is averaging 15.6 points, 4.6 assists and 4.0 rebounds per game.

With John Wall, Trevor Booker and Cartier Martin also out, Washington had just nine players available.

The Wizards weren’t completely short-handed.

Trevor Ariza, who missed the last 17 games with a left calf strain, returned. He limped noticeably after dunking in the second quarter, but he remained in the game.

A.J. Price also returned Monday after missing 15 games with a broken right hand.

Beal made a four-point play to end the third quarter, and that began an 8-0 Washington run. When the game got tight late, Beal delivered again.

“How many times have we been in this spot?” Wizards coach Randy Wittman said. “We’re going to get the last shot. . I said, “It’s time for us to be on the other end, to have someone step up and make a play.’ Bradley made a hell of a shot.”

Said Thunder coach Scott Brooks: “Truthfully, there is no way around it. The better team tonight won.”

NOTES: The Wizards waived Shelvin Mack on Monday. In seven games, he averaged 5.3 points. . Brooks said he hasn’t spoken with Durant about the forward’s ejection during Oklahoma City’s loss to the Brooklyn Nets on Wednesday. “You have to play your personality,” Brooks said. “You don’t want to be a phony on the court, and Kevin’s not. He’s a nice young man that competes, competes fairly and competes the best way that he knows how to. I never complain about Kevin’s passion.” ... Four years ago, the Thunder started 3-29, even worse than Wittman’s Wizards to open this season. “I know how Randy feels,” Brooks said. “It’s not easy, because you don’t see a lot of sunshine. But, they have good players that work hard, and eventually it turns around. ... Kevin Durant helps, also.” ... The Wizards’ 30 first-quarter points matched a season high for the opening period.

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