In DC, the Wizards Outduel the Dubs
With Washington dropping their previous two contests, Golden State (50-9) was the last opponent the Wizards would want to face to cure their post All-Star break hangover. However, the Wizards toppled the league’s top team (112-109) on Tuesday evening in the Phone Booth.
Washington jumped on the Bay Area visitors immediately, built a 19-point lead, withstood the Warriors second-half comeback, and made the pivotal plays in the final minute to pull out their 35th victory of the season.
On Monday night against the Sixers, Steph Curry finished 0-for-11 on 3-pointers and, in D.C., he misfired on his first three attempts before finally making one in the third quarter. Curry finished 2-for-9 from downtown and his potential game-winner from 25 feet away went awry. “We had an open look, so it’s a great shot,” said Steve Kerr. “Any shot where Steph [Curry] can get his feet set and get a good look at the rim we’ll take. He didn’t knock it down, but it looked like we got a good look.”
Curry was OK with the play, too.
“It was a shot that was there. It came off the pin-down, and they prematurely switched us, so I had enough space,” he said. “Besides the last two games, it is a shot I normally make. Confident to take it and I live for those moments. You live with the result.”
Coach Kerr and multiple Golden State players were complimentary about Washington’s squad.
“It was a hell of a basketball game” said Kerr. “The fans got their money’s worth. It was a great competition.”
Draymond Green praised Washington for being a better team than year’s past. Shaun Livingston called it a playoff game. “They are a talented team. I really like their team,” he said. “They are well coached.”
I asked Curry about facing Wall: “He is tough, always on the attack. You gotta play well to, obviously, win that matchup—he did it in a different way tonight. Neither one of us shot particularly well. They run a lot of good sets. He was great in making the right decisions. That back and forth is pretty fun. A lot of talent on the floor.”
- Each team committed 19 turnovers. John Wall was 6-for-20 on field goals, Klay Thompson was 3-for-13 on 3s, and the “Splash Brothers” finished a combined 14-for-40 on the field.
- Early in the first quarter, Marcin Gortat and Zaza Pachuila were battling in the paint, with the Polish native getting the best of the Georgia big man. Unfortunately, Zaza rolled into Kevin Durant‘s knee and KD had to exit the game for good. Afterward, the media peppered Zaza with questions about the incident. He quickly tired of the inquiry and responded with, “Do you guys think that I did it on purpose?”
- Golden State’s comeback was benefited by the officials. The refs called nine fouls on the Wizards in the third quarter and the Warriors shot 11-for-13 from the charity stripe compared to only two Washington attempts over the same span. Wall drove repeatedly but did not get to the free throw line once. Wall was asked about this glaring disparity: “I am going to save my money, so, no comment,” said Wall.
- The play of the game was a huge offensive rebound by Otto Porter. He out jumped Curry and Shaun Livingston to secure a Wall miss with 17.5 second left. Porter drew a foul on the put-back, converted both free throws and gave Washington the lead for good.
- Markieff Morris finished with 22 points, 6 rebounds, 4 blocks, 2 steals and 1 assist. Keef jammed in a key lob and clinched the win with two clutch free throws.