It didn't seem like reality, nor did it seem sustainable. As the final buzzer inched closer and closer, one had to wonder if the Washington Wizards -- the one-win Washington Wizards -- could continue to stay one-step ahead of the Oklahoma City Thunder. Yes, those Oklahoma City Thunder -- the team that came into Wednesday night's matchup at 12-3.
In a matchup of teams that have followed completely opposite trajectories to this point in the season, the lovable losers, Washington, managed to keep pace throughout. A four-point deficit after the first quarter was acceptable, and Washington was down five at the half. Heading into the third quarter, the Wizards managed to stay within striking range, setting up an unexpected fourth quarter.
The Wizards, somehow, became closers. Strong closers, in fact, as they surged ahead midway through the quarter, extended the lead out to as many as seven points, then hung on for dear life down the stretch. The end result was a 105-102 victory, only Washington's second win of the year.
John Wall scored a team-high 25 points in the win, hitting 13-of-14 free throws and 6-of-17 attempts from the field. Nick Young scored 24 points, knocking down 5-of-10 three-point attempts on the night. JaVale McGee scored just seven points, but grabbed 11 rebounds for the Wizards.
It was a two-man game for the Thunder, with Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant shouldering the load. Westbrook scored a game-high 36 points on 26 shots while Durant finished with 33 points on 24 shots. The other three starters combined for just eight points, with Kendrick Perkins failing to take a shot or free throw in 28 minutes of play.