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Wizards Run Out of Steam, Suffer Another Home Loss to OKC, 136-128

Oklahoma City Just Found Ways to Get Much Needed Shots Late In the 4th Quarter to Knock off the Wizards, 136-128

Story By: Sol Tucker

Photos By: Sol Tucker

Washington, D.C–

It seems to be a reoccurring theme here in D.C, score 130 plus points against the Wizards and walk away with an easy W. That was sort of the scenario that played out tonight against the Thunder, however Kyle Kuzma and Jordan Poole kept it interesting until the end of a 136-128 loss.

The biggest problem for the Wizards tonight? Chet Holmgren. He simple could not be stopped. His 31 PTS 5 AST 2 BLK 11/14 FG 4/5 3 Pointers made him only the second rookie in NBA history to record a line of 31+ PTS, 5+ assists, and multiple blocks with 85% TS or better. Then there was his buddy, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander who dropped 32 points of his own.

Oklahoma City, which entered as the NBA’s second-best shooters, went 59.1% (52 of 88) from the floor and 50% (14 of 28) from 3-point range, narrowly missing season highs in both categories.

Kuzma missed on all five of his attempts from long range and this was after his layup pulled Washington to within 100-97 late in the third, Gilgeous-Alexander answered with a driving bank shot before the period expired. The three-point spread was as close as the Wizards would come the remainder of the game.

“We have to find a way to close these close games. We battled back in the fourth quarter just like we did late in the third, but those missed three pointers were the difference in the game tonight for us, said Wizards Head Coach Wes Unseld Jr.

Despite the run, the Wizards have yet to find a combination in the final minutes of their bench players and starters that can give a solid night of scoring without pulling away. There have been too many games when both Kuz and Poole are on the bench for more than 4 minutes in the fourth quarter when their team is down by just 6 to 8 points, tonight was another one of those nights.

How many more games will fans have to see the Wizards stay close, yet only falter badly in the fourth quarter? Only time will tell what the strategy behind these moves are. Stay tuned, things will be changing after the All-Star Break, and it may look a bit different around the COA for February and March.

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