WASHINGTON – The first half ended with a case of the Marquee Miscues. Kevin Durant lost the ball to John Wall, and Wall then missed an open fast-break layup at the horn. It was Durant’s fourth turnover and Wall’s seventh miss in a row.
At halftime, Wall changed his shoes. Maybe that was the difference.
The newly minted first-time All-Star guard scored 15 of his 17 points in the second half, and the Washington Wizards took advantage of a rare off-night from Durant and snapped the Oklahoma City Thunder’s 10-game winning streak Saturday with a 96-81 win.
“I didn’t like how I played on the road trip in my white shoes, so I tried the red ones,” Wall said. “They didn’t work in the first half, so I got rid of them and went back to my old white ones, and they kind of helped me out. I’m kind of superstitious.”
Wall also had 15 assists and six steals and went 7-for-11 from the field after halftime, more than making up for the 0-for-7 first half. Marcin Gortat had 14 points and 14 rebounds, while Trevor Ariza added 18 points and did a solid job defending Durant, whose 26 points came on 8-for-21 shooting, including 0-for-6 from 3-point range, and enough calls to make him 10-for-10 from the free-throw line. He also committed five turnovers.
“Just stay in his grill, man,” Ariza said. “Just try to make him take tough shots. Try not to give him no easy, easy looks.”
Trail Blazers 106, Raptors 103
In Portland, LaMarcus Aldridge had 27 points and 15 rebounds, Damian Lillard hit a go-ahead free throw with 11.8 seconds and the Trail Blazers edged Toronto.
DeMar DeRozan finished with 36 points and 12 assists, doing most of his damage during a 30-point second half.
Heat 106, Knicks 91
In New York, LeBron James had 30 points, eight rebounds and seven assists as Miami avoided a winless season in the Big Apple.
Pacers 97, Nets 96
In Indianapolis, Paul George and Roy Hibbert both had 20 points as the Pacers overcame an early deficit to beat Brooklyn.
Spurs 95, Kings 93
In San Antonio, Tim Duncan had 23 points and 17 rebounds and Tony Parker added 18 points and 10 assists as the Spurs ended a three-game slide.
Rockets 106, Cavaliers 92
In Houston, James Harden returned from injury to score 28 points and Jeremy Lin had his first career triple-double, finishing with 15 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists.
Pistons 113, 76ers 96
In Auburn Hills, Michigan, Andre Drummond had 22 points and 14 rebounds as Detroit’s talented frontcourt overwhelmed short-handed Philadelphia.
Hawks 120, Timberwolves 113
In Atlanta, Kyle Korver scored 24 points, including a trio of 3s in a third-quarter stretch that gave the Hawks the lead.
Pelicans 88, Bulls 79
In New Orleans, Anthony Davis scored 24 points and grabbed eight rebounds.
Grizzlies 99, Bucks 90
In Memphis, Nick Calathes, subbing for an injured Mike Conley, scored a career-high 22 points.
Suns 105, Bobcats 95
In Phoenix, Goran Dragic scored 25 points as the Suns made almost 57 percent of their shots through three quarters.
Clippers 102, Jazz 87
In Los Angeles, Jamal Crawford scored 27 points off the bench, Blake Griffin had 25 points and 11 rebounds, and the Clippers pulled away in the third quarter to beat Utah.