for this game

Thunder top Wizards for third straight win

Mar 5, 2009 - 4:56 AM OKLAHOMA CITY (Ticker) -- The Washington Wizards and Oklahoma City Thunder are having terrible seasons, respectively.

On Wednesday, they almost proved equally bad before the Thunder edged away to an 88-83 victory.

Thabo Sefolosha hit a reverse layup with just less than two minutes left and the Thunder took an 84-83 lead. After some sloppy play, Russell Westbrook knocked down a jumper to make it 86-83.

Antawn Jamison came down the other end and missed a runner as Washington failed to score a point in the final 2 1/2 minutes. Nenad Krstic was fouled and hit two free throws to lock up the Thunder's third straight victory.

This marked Oklahoma City's first three-game winning streak of the season and it was accomplished without Kevin Durant, the league's fourth-leading scorer. Jeff Green also sat out this game for the Thunder.

"Everyone stepped up again tonight and did a great job," Thunder interim coach Scott Brooks said. "The fact we have our longest winning streak of the year without Kevin and Jeff is weird, but I think everyone knows that we have had to step our game up. I think this has made us realize that at times we are too dependent on Kevin and Jeff to make things happen, so hopefully we can learn from this and be a more complete team when they come back."

Sefolosha stepped up again for Brooks and Oklahoma City in the absence of his teammates. He seven straight points to give the Thunder a 59-52 lead in the third quarter.

However, in this game of challenged teams, the Wizards went on a 14-4 tear in the fourth quarter to move in front.

The Thunder wasn't willing to relent and charged home to down the woeful Wizards.

Krstic led Oklahoma City, which won its 16th game of the season against 45 losses, with 18 points. Nick Collison had a double-double of 12 points and 10 rebounds.

"I am surprised, We rely on those guys so much to make shots. But I think one thing that it has done for us is has forced us to move the ball, and guys have taken smart shots and gotten a lot of easy baskets," Collison said.

"We've done a little bit of growing up and coming together as a team since they have been out. This winning streak has come at a time in the schedule that allows us to do that, but I think we have responded well and gone out and executed the game plan."

Jamison led the Wizards (14-47) with 29 points. He also had 10 rebounds.

"We didn't do a lot of things properly tonight and that hurt us the last few minutes of the game," Jamison said. "We weren't able to execute down the stretch, we couldn't stop their dribble penetration, and that put us behind the eight ball and we couldn't string enough stops together to come out with the win."