Nick Young led a furious second half 3-point barrage as the lowly Washington Wizards beat the front running Oklahoma City Thunder Wednesday night 105-102 from the Verizon Center in downtown Washington D.C. spoiling Maryland-native Kevin Durant’s homecoming.
Young scored 24 points for the game, but most of his damage would not come until the 4:35 mark in the third quarter as the 6-7 shooting guard by way of Los Angeles, California knocked down three huge shots from deep to pull the Wizards to within just 4 points heading into the fourth and final period after trailing by as many as 12 early in the half.
The Thunder, on the other hand, could not find the range late after being carried by the ultra-talented duo of Durant and Westrbrook through the first three quarters of play.
Durant and Westbrook would go on to score 33 and 36 points, respectively. But the duo’s scoring output constituted for roughly 70% (67.6%) of the team’s point production on the night.
OKC took a commanding 59-47 lead with eight minutes remaining in the third on two Westbrook free throws as Washington simply could not find the range starting the half shooting a woeful 12.5% on just 2-of-16 from the field.
However, after Westbrook’s free throws Young got started, connecting first on a transition three from the right wing for his first of five second half three-point bombs.
Young’s three keyed a Wizard’s surge that would end with a Andray Blatche period-ending three from the top closing OKC’s gap to four at 76-72 entering the fourth.
John Wall picked things up early creating opportunities for his teammates on the break and at the foul line eventually finding Young, yet again, for another three at the 7:24 minute mark of the fourth for Washington’s first lead of the second half at 86-84.
The Wizards would close things out ultimately besting the Thunder by three, however missed free throws by Young and McGee would make for an interesting end of the contest.
Young wound up knocking down 5-of-10 three’s on the night going 6-of-17 from the field after starting the contest just 1-of-8.
With the win, Washington snapped Oklahoma City’s 7-game winning streak and in the process got just their second win of the 2011-12 NBA campaign.
Wizards’ star point guard John Wall finished with a team-high 25 points on just 6-of-17 shooting, however he went 13-of-14 from the free throw line.
As a team the Wizards shot 13 more free throws than the Thunder. They also snatched down nine more rebounds on the night.