for this game

Fourth-quarter surge helps Wizards drown out Thunder

Dec 28, 2008 - 5:00 AM WASHINGTON (Ticker) -- Antawn Jamison scored 29 points and the Washington Wizards used a dominating final quarter to post a 104-95 victory over the Oklahoma City Thunder on Saturday.

Andray Blatche posted 19 points and 15 rebounds and Juan Dixon added 13 points off the bench for the Wizards, who outscored the Thunder, 28-19, in the fourth quarter.

"It is always good to win," Washington interim coach Ed Tapscott said. "Whether you are on a winning streak or losing streak, it is always good to win. We wanted to keep them in a half-court game and we really thought that would be critical for us to come out with a win."

The teams entered the contest with a combined record of 7-50, marking the worst matchup between teams that had played at least 25 games in NBA history.

"It was a big deal," Jamison said about the win. "It was nice to have a comfortable lead at the end, and not have to feel the pressure that comes with close games. The young guys that were in the game did a nice job of sharing the ball, and they got back in transition to make it difficult for them on the offensive end.

"We have been in a lot of close basketball games, and tonight we found a way to get it done."

Entering the final quarter locked at 76-76, Earl Watson briefly gave the Thunder the lead with a jumper on their first possession. Washington responded with a 12-0 run to go up, 88-78, and never looked back.

Dominic McGuire sparked the run with a jumper and added a layup during the spurt, finishing with 12 points. Dixon scored nine points in the final period as the Wizards shot 13-of-26 from the floor to snap an eight-game losing streak and improve to 5-23.

"That's our job," McGuire said. "You just have to be ready whenever your number is called. It's about trying to be a good teammate and staying ready, and helping my teammates with whatever they need me to do out there on the court, so that we can get some more wins."

Kevin Durant led the way with 25 points and 11 rebounds and Jeff Green added 23 points for Oklahoma City, which turned the ball over five times and was outrebounded, 14-5, in the fourth quarter in falling to 3-28.

"Our defensive intensity wasn't there tonight," Thunder interim coach Scott Brooks said. "We gave up 33 points in the first quarter and 28 points in the fourth quarter. That's not winning basketball.

"I'm disappointed in our defensive effort. Offensively, we turned the ball over too many times. We forced the issue instead of playing with the pass and trusting your teammates to make the next play."

Durant, who grew up in Washington, and Green, who went to Georgetown, were the only players on the Thunder who managed more than 10 points.

"I wanted to relax," Green said of his homecoming. "The last time that I was here, I didn't play too well. This game I wanted to come in relaxed. Last year, I put too much pressure on myself to do well.

"This time, I let the game come to me. I tried to make plays to help my team win."

The Wizards were playing without All-Star swingman Caron Butler, who was ruled out with a left ankle injury prior to the contest. Nick Young started in Butler's place and finished with nine points in 22 minutes.

"We needed a lot of contributions tonight, especially with Caron out," Tapscott said. "I thought everyone did their part tonight and did their part without going outside of their roles. They took the shots they were supposed to take and made the plays they should make. I was happy we were able to stay organized tonight."

Jamison scored eight points during a 10-2 run bridging the second and third quarters to give Washington a 64-56 advantage with 8:02 left in the third, but the Thunder ended the period on their own 10-2 run to go into the final period tied.

"Give credit to the Wizards," Durant said. "They came out and played hard. When they needed to, they got stops and did a great job of offensive rebounding. We've got to go back to the drawing board and get better."

  • 15
    #1 Cards Fan Added 10 roots

    Thunder 95, Wizards 104  FinalDec 28 7:18 AM
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    MattDOOM777 Added 5 roots

    Thunder 95, Wizards 104  FinalDec 28 5:35 AM

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