The Washington Wizards could not cool off the Golden State Warriors as they got annihilated 139-115 on the road.
Steph Curry Catches Fire Early
The first quarter started with both teams battling back and forth in a playoff-like atmosphere. Bradley Beal and reigning MVP Stephen Curry had a first-period shootout. Curry had 12 points (four three-pointers) and six assists while Beal had 13 points. The two teams combined for 65 first quarter points, with Golden State having a five-point lead going into the second.
In the second quarter, the Warriors bench led the way by putting up 25 points. The Wizards bench did not play well at all with eight points, forcing the starters to come back in. The starters got Washington back into the game, cutting the Warriors lead down to three points. Then Curry came to his team’s rescue scoring 10 straight points for them to push their lead to 12 points. Curry’s 22 first half points gave Golden State a 10-point lead going into halftime.
Splash Brothers Too Much
After Curry’s hot start, it was his splash brother turn Klay Thompson to start the second half. Thompson started off with 12-second quarter points. Curry did not cool down as he went for 15 in the third. Thompson and Curry combined for 27 of the Warriors 39 third quarter points. Washington could not stop the splash brothers shooting and it led to Golden State going into the final quarter with a demanding 18-point lead. Washington defense had no answer for them as they allowed 106 points through three quarters. Things did not look too good for Washington heading into the final period.
Never Say Never?
The Wizards bench came alive in the fourth and started on an 8-0 run to cut the lead down to 10. Due to the lack of defense through the first three-quarters, coach Scott Brooks benched the starters for the entire fourth quarter. With the Warriors still with Draymond Green, Curry and Thompson in, they were too much for Washington’s bench.
Wall finished with 15 points and 11 assists. Beal and Bojan Bogdanovic finished with a team high of 20 points each. Curry torched the Wizards with a game-high of 42 points (nine three-pointers) and added eight assists. Green had a triple-double with 11 points, 13 assists, and 12 rebounds. Thompson had 23 points and Shaun Livingston had 17 and seven rebounds off the bench.
Back Home After Long Road Trip
After winning four straight, Washington has now lost three straight games, all on the road. The Wizards will travel back home to face the Charlotte Hornets. Washington is leading the season series 2-1 but lost the most recent matchup last month. In their last game, Markieff Morris did not play. The Wizards defense held there Hornets backcourt of Nicolas Batum and Kemba Walker to 9-27 shooting combined. The backcourt of Beal and Wall was no better on 11 of 30 shooting from the field. The presence of Morris this time should help spread the floor out to get better shots.
The Hornets are a game and a half out of the 8th and final playoff spot. This game means more to them than the Wizards. Washington clinched a playoff spot and won the division, but could still move up in the standings. So this game is important for both teams for playoff reasoning. Washington needs to have a good defensive game and guard the perimeter well. Charlotte went to the charity strike 27 times last game so they have to play defense without fouling. The bench has been playing well of recent and needs to continue that. This will be a competitive battle and will come down to who wants it more.