NBA Basketball

97
Final 1 2 3 4 Tot
Washington 28 24 26 19 97
Oklahoma City 24 22 24 15 85
85
5:00 PM PT6:00 PM MT7:00 PM CT8:00 PM ET0:00 GMT8:00 5:00 PM MST7:00 PM EST4:00 UAE (+1)02:0020:00 ET7:00 PM CT23:00 , October 25, 2019
Chesapeake Energy Arena, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma  Attendance: 18,203

Thunder welcome Wizards in first game of post-Russ era

According to STATS
According to STATS

Washington Wizards at Oklahoma City Thunder

  1. The Wizards won at Oklahoma City on January 6 last season, 116-98. Prior to that game, Washington was 0-9 in road games against the Thunder since the team moved from Seattle.
  2. In Washington's season-opening loss at Dallas, the Mavericks outshot the Wizards 60.0 percent to 50.0 percent on two-pointers. Last season, Washington ranked fourth in the NBA in two-point percentage (54.3) but third worst in opponent two-point percentage (54.2).
  3. The Thunder managed just 12 points in the first quarter in their season-opening loss in Utah on Wednesday, the fewest points in franchise history for the team's first quarter of a season. Oklahoma City had not scored 12 points or fewer in the first quarter of any game since April 7, 2015 vs. the Spurs (10).
  4. Bradley Beal shot just 1-for-11 from three-point range in the season opener, the worst percentage by a Wizards player with at least 10 attempts in any game since Gilbert Arenas went 1-for-11 on February 25, 2007.
  5. Rookie Rui Hachimura had 14 points and 10 rebounds on Wednesday, becoming the first Wizards player to post a double-double in his NBA debut since Juwan Howard on November 19, 1994 (10 points, 11 rebounds).
  6. The Thunder had three 20-point scorers in their opener, all of whom were acquired in the offseason (Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Chris Paul and Danilo Gallinari). The last time three non-rookie teammates all scored 20+ points in their team debuts was October 13, 1978, when the Clippers' Kermit Washington, Nick Weatherspoon and World B. Free did so.

Over the past decade, Oklahoma City has developed a reputation as having one of the best in-game atmospheres in the NBA.

That gets tested Thursday night when the Thunder open their home slate against the Washington Wizards. And this will be a home opener unlike any other the Oklahoma City fans have ever seen.

For the first time since the franchise moved from Seattle, the Thunder will play a home game without Russell Westbrook on its roster. Also gone is Westbrook's star sidekick the last two seasons, Paul George.

The net return -- for now -- of those two blockbuster offseason trades are Chris Paul, Danilo Gallinari and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander.

In Wednesday's season-opening loss in Utah, the trio combined for 69 points. The rest of the team scored just 26, however, including just three points from big man Steven Adams, who was just 1 for 8 from the field.

The Wizards are coming off a disappointing opener of their own, dropping a 108-100 decision at Dallas on Wednesday that included Bradley Beal being ejected with a little more than a minute remaining.

Beal's two technicals with 1:09 remaining were the culmination of a quarter-long battle with Mavericks star Luka Doncic. And though both dismissed it as being much made out of nothing after the game, Beal was upset that he was giving a second technical foul after waving off an official following the first call.

"It was just hoops," Beal told reporters. "You could see when I got kicked out, he came up and was the first one to dap me, so he understood what it was. We were fighting. It was just basketball, trying to frustrate him. He was kicking our butts, so you've got to do something."

Washington, too, has had plenty of roster turnover since last season, and has plenty of youth.

"We're throwing a lot of guys who haven't played in the NBA and haven't played a lot of minutes in the NBA (out there)," Wizards coach Scott Brooks said. "At times, there might be some surprising moments, and hopefully it's surprising on the good side of it."

Part of that youth movement, rookie Rui Hachimura said the Wizards will get better.

"This is just the beginning," Hachimura told reporters after scoring 14 points and grabbing 10 rebounds in his NBA debut.

"It is what it is and we have two more other games (on the road trip), so I feel like we have to play defense more and offensively we have to share more balls and stuff."

On the other side of Friday's game, Oklahoma City is still working to develop a new identity in the post-Westbrook era.

"We fight for 48 minutes," Gallinari said. "That's the way that we want to play, that's the way that we want to win games. That's the only way to win games and to play basketball."

A strong start at home is critical for the Thunder, who play seven of their first 10 games at home.

--Field Level Media

Updated October 24, 2019

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