Bradley Beal scored a career-high 34 points Sunday night but it wasn’t enough to prevent the Oklahoma City Thunder from edging past the Washington Wizards in overtime, 106-105.
The Wizards kept on with their strategy of opening up shots behind the arc, going 12-for-29 on threes with Beal leading the charge. In addition to going 6-for-8 on threes, Beal contributed six rebounds during his 42 minutes of play.
But, Kevin Durant made all the difference for the Thunder by posting 33 points, 12 rebounds and six assists.
After keeping up to tempo with the Thunder through the entire first half, the Wizards entered the second up 42-37. They continued to lead for the greater portion of the second half and even distanced themselves from the Thunder by as many as 11 points in the third quarter.
But, as Washington began to lose some steam halfway through the fourth quarter, Durant and Serge Ibaka heated up.
Washington was in front 92-86 with 1:44 remaining before Jeremy Lamb made a 26-footer and Durant fed to Ibaka for a slam that made it 92-91. Beal did his part to keep the Thunder out of the rearview mirror, adding a jumper and a driving layup to make it 96-93 Wizards with 18 seconds remaining but Durant made a 25-footer with 13 seconds remaining to send the game into overtime.
Oklahoma City made the first two baskets of overtime, but the Wizards kept right in the thick of things after John Wall made two free throws and Marcin Gortat added a basket. With 1:52 remaining, Beal sank a three-pointer to give the Wizards their first lead of extra time, but Ibaka’s two-point shot and two free baskets by Durant sealed the win for the Thunder.
The Wizards will hope to improve their road record when they head to Dallas this Tuesday. The Wizards were just 7-34 last year in away contests.