WASHINGTON (AP) Bradley Beal scored 30 points, Davis Bertans was made six 3-pointers in his return from paternity leave, and the Washington Wizards beat the Oklahoma City Thunder 119-107 on Monday night.
Bertans, who missed the previous two games while his wife gave birth to a son, finished with 21 points. The Wizards have won five straight, matching a season high, and seven of eight to claw back into playoff contention in the Eastern Conference.
Russell Westbrook had 13 points, 17 assists and 11 rebounds for Washington. His 26th triple-double this season was only in doubt because of his dreadful shooting; Westbrook missed nine straight shots in the second half before a 3-pointer that gave the Wizards a nine-point lead with 3:47 left. He has 172 triple-doubles, closing in on Oscar Robertson’s record of 181.
Darius Bazley scored a career-high 26 points for Oklahoma City, which extended its season-worst skid to 11 games. The Thunder have lost 14 of 15 since leading scorer Shai Gilgeous-Alexander was sidelined with a foot injury last month. Oklahoma City was even more undermanned without Lu Dort, who sat after scoring 29 points Sunday night against Toronto.
Washington never trailed but allowed Oklahoma City to slink within one point late in the second quarter when Beal went cold temporarily. But Bertans hit a 3-pointer at the buzzer, part of a 12-0 run spanning halftime.
The Thunder got close again early in the fourth quarter, going on a 15-4 run while Westbrook couldn’t connect. A layup by Tony Bradley brought Oklahoma City within two with 9:02 left, prompting Wizards coach Scott Brooks to call timeout.
Robin Lopez made two hook shots to restore order, Beal and Bertans made consecutive 3s and the Wizards were on their way.
Thunder: Bradley scored 16 points and Kenrich Williams had 15. … Dort sat with a strained right hip. He was Oklahoma City’s leading scorer in the past three games he’s played.
Wizards: F Rui Hachimura was out with a sore left knee after a knee-to-knee collision on Saturday against Detroit and is day to day, Brooks said. … C Alex Len started after Brooks said he’d be a game-time decision with left ankle soreness. Len hit a driving Bazley in the face with his forearm late in the second quarter and was charged with a flagrant 1 foul. … Beal’s 3-pointer with 5:04 left in the third period was the first by any Wizard other than Bertans.
Thunder: At Indiana on Wednesday night to conclude a four-game trip.
Wizards: Host Stephen Curry, who is closing in on Beal’s NBA-leading scoring average, and Golden State on Wednesday night in the first game this season with fans at Capital One Arena. ”The mayor and our organization, they picked a great day to have fans,” Brooks said. ”One of the most exciting players in the history of our game is coming to our building.”
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