WASHINGTON - Flip Saunders has seen enough. Changes are coming for the Washington Wizards.
Kevin Durant had 35 points and 11 rebounds, Jeff Green added 18 points, and the Oklahoma City Thunder beat the Wizards 110-98 Tuesday night for the franchise’s first four-game winning streak in 31/2 years.
“This team needs a mind-set change,” the Wizards’ coach said after Washington’s third straight loss. “This team, the last five years, has been known as one of the worst defensive teams. ... We couldn’t stop anybody out there.”
Added Wizards guard Gilbert Arenas, who scored 24 points: “Right now, we stink – and we’re showing it. You can sit here and talk about it every day, every game, every loss. But until we can turn it around, we stink.”
In the middle of the Wizards’ misery was a red-hot Durant.
It was the fifth straight game Durant, who had 40 points in Monday’s win at New Jersey, topped the 30-point mark. He has exceeded 30 points nine times in Oklahoma City’s 14 December games.
“I could be more aggressive, I think,” Durant said. “I missed some shots I should have made. I wasn’t disciplined in following through.”
The Thunder, which last won four straight from April 2-6, 2006, when they were the Seattle SuperSonics, earned its ninth road win of the season – one more than in 2008-09, their first season in Oklahoma City.
“We’re playing pretty decent right now. We can’t get complacent,” Durant said. “We know in the back of our heads it’s our first four-game winning streak in a couple of years. We’re excited about that, but we have to work hard every day.”
The score was tied five times in the fourth quarter before the Thunder went on a decisive 14-2 run that began with a layup by Eric Maynor that erased the 90-89 lead.
Oklahoma City hit 13 of 18 shots (72 percent) from the field in the fourth quarter.