EditorsNote: Changed ‘an’ to ‘a’ in 9th graf; Corrects pct from 29.8 to 30.4 in next-to-last graf; Minor tweaks throughout
Thomas Bryant led the way with 21 points as the Washington Wizards used a late push to escape with a 97-85 road win over the Oklahoma City Thunder on Friday night at Chesapeake Energy Arena.
After a lead evaporated into an 83-83 tie with 4:27 to play, seven points in less than a minute put the Wizards back in control.
The run started with a pull-up jumper from rookie Rui Hachimura, ending a stretch of nearly four minutes with just one Washington bucket. That opened the floodgates, as a few moments after Hachimura’s shot found the bucket, the Wizards were once again firmly in charge.
Bryant finished 9 of 16 from the floor and added 11 rebounds. Hachimura added 19 points, while Bradley Beal scored 17.
The Wizards led by eight going into the fourth quarter, but the Thunder steadily cut the deficit in half thanks to seven consecutive stops to begin the final frame.
But Oklahoma City wasn’t able to take much advantage of Washington’s offensive struggles, making just 1 of 5 from the field to start the quarter.
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander’s long jumper with less than four-and-a-half minutes remaining tied it for the first time since late in the first quarter.
But then the Wizards quickly came along offensively, with Hachimura’s jumper breaking the drought and putting Washington back in front.
That ignited what became a 14-0 run over the next four minutes to give the Wizards control of the game once again. The Thunder didn’t score until fewer than 30 seconds remained.
Gilgeous-Alexander led the Thunder with 28 points, his second consecutive career-high scoring mark in his first two games with Oklahoma City after being traded from the Clippers in the offseason.
Danilo Gallinari scored 18 points for the Thunder.
Gilgeous-Alexander and Gallinari combined to go 16 of 27 from the floor, including 4 of 7 from deep. But the rest of the team shot just 30.4 percent from the floor and just 1 of 16 from behind the 3-point line.
Washington led 28-24 after one quarter and 52-46 at the half.
—Field Level Media