Kevin Durant will make his lone trip home as the NBA-best Oklahoma City Thunder (12-2) take on the NBA-worst Wizards (1-12) at Verizon Center. Andray Blatche will return to the starting lineup for the first time in six games (he missed three because of a sore right shoulder), replacing Trevor Booker. Rookie Chris Singleton will have the assignment of guarding Durant.
Durant helped turn around a losing culture with his franchise, offering a template for the Wizards and John Wall. Rashard Lewis, who started his career with the organization when it was in Seattle and called the SuperSonics, believes Durant was the right player to build around.
Both Durant and Wall believe that they gained from participating in summer league exhibitions. Wall will attempt to have an encore on his 38-point game against Houston, but he will have a challenge against Russell Westbrook, who schooled him in two meetings last season.
After taking heat for his off-the-backboard, self-alley-oop, JaVale McGee will attempt to bounce back. “As I told him, it’s a learning experience,” Coach Flip Saunders said of McGee. “For him, you learn. I believe this, I don’t think he did it in a malicious way. I said for future use, in the situation we’re in, you don’t want to draw attention to something like that.”
Tipoff: 7 p.m. TV: Comcast SportsNet; Radio: 106.7 (WJFK FM).Check out a live box score for tonight’s game here.