WASHINGTON — The young, up-and-coming Oklahoma City Thunder are well ahead of schedule and, undoubtedly, a threat to become the best team in the NBA this season. With youth, however, inconsistency is sure to follow, and the Thunder, after recording their biggest win of the season, came into tonight trying to avoid hitting their longest losing streak of the season.
With their version of the Big Three firing on all cylinders, the Thunder getting back in the win column was hardly any doubt.
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Chet Holmgren and Jalen Williams combined for 84 points, as Oklahoma City shot almost 60 percent from the field during a 1136-128 victory over the Washington Wizards inside Capital One Arena on Monday evening. Gilgeous-Alexander scored 14 of his 32 points in the first quarter, as Oklahoma City built an 11-point lead early and did not give up the lead the rest of the way.
Oklahoma City, who entered tonight’s game second in the NBA in field-goal percentage, shot 52-of-88 (59.1 percent) from the field while connecting on 14 of their 28 three-point attempts. Alexander made 11 of his 17 shots from the field, Holmgren made 11-of-14 and Williams, along with dishing out 10 assists and grabbing seven rebounds, hit nine of his 13 shots from the floor.
After defeating the Boston Celtics — the team with the NBA’s best record — on Sunday, the Thunder proceeded to lost two straight, in Atlanta and Brooklyn, to start a four-game road trip. In both those contests, Oklahoma City fell into a big deficit, only to come up just short after making near-miraculous comebacks.
There were no comebacks needed on Monday, with Oklahoma City scoring 36 points in the first quarter and seeing its bench produce when the starters were rested in the second. Isaiah Joe and Aaron Wiggins each scored in double figures in the first half, combining to make 9-of-14 from the floor.
*Editor’s note: Above the byline is the photo gallery from Friday evening’s event, with all photos taken by DC-area photographer Clifford Ray Williams. After clicking on the first photo to enlarge the picture, make sure to press the left and right arrow buttons to scroll through the rest of the pictures. There are 16 pictures in total.