Kevin Durant didn’t grow up rooting for his hometown Washington Wizards/Bullets as a kid. His favorite team was the Toronto Raptors, who featured his favorite player, Vince Carter, and Tracy McGrady.
So, Durant doesn’t have a particular soft spot when he plays the Wizards and certainly doesn’t enjoy the fact that his Oklahoma City Thunder has lost two straight to the lottery-bound Wizards. The Thunder has only lost four games against teams with records below .500 and the first came on Jan. 7, when the Bradley Beal made the decisive jumper in a 105-103 victory – the last game before John Wall made his season debut.
“We only play them twice, so we want to end on a good note,” Durant said as the Thunder prepares to host the Wizards on Wednesday at Chesapeake Energy Arena. “Especially since I’m from DC, I want to beat the hometown team. Hopefully, we can get it done. They outplayed us last time, did some things better than we did. We learned from it.”
The Wizards (26-44) are 14-15 against Western Conference teams this season and will have a chance to finish with a .500 or better record against the conference for the first time in nine years. They went 17-13 against the East in 2003-04. This season, the Wizards have had their most success against the Northwest Division, going 6-3 with sweeps of the Denver Nuggets and Portland Trail Blazers.
The Thunder hasn’t defeated the Wizards since March, 14, 2011 – Wall’s rookie year – after losing in their only game last season. “That’s the crazy part. We only had them once last year,” said Durant. “We got another chance tonight.”