By Gabe Schapiro
The Golden State Warriors (27-19) struggled for most of the game, losing to the Washington Wizards (22-22), 88-85, Tuesday night, at Oracle Arena. Neither squad looked particularly good, in a contest that quickly turned into an ugly offensive showing. Both sides failed to shoot above a 38% clip, and combined for 37 turnovers.
The contest remained close throughout in a very defense-oriented game, and ultimately came down to which side would make the least mistakes and hit the big shot when the opportunity presented itself.
For the Wizards it was their electric backcourt that saved the day, and nailed the last nail in the Warriors coffin. Washington held a slight one-point lead heading into the fourth quarter. Bradley Beal, who’s impact had been limited, came up big and sunk three straight from beyond the arc to open up a lead.
Golden State slowly scratched their way back. A tough David Lee lay-up in traffic tied the game up at 85-85 with 1:47 to play. Unfortunately, that would be the last points they could muster.
On the very next possession Beal finally missed a three-pointer, but an offensive rebound kept it alive for the Wizards. The pass quickly went to a wide-open John Wall, who nailed the trey. The basket would prove to be the game-winner. Stephen Curry had the final shot, but Trevor Ariza did an impressive job covering him, and all Curry could get off was an awkward heave that never had much of a chance.
For Golden State, Curry was their only consistent source of offense. Despite an off shooting night, he finished with a game-high 23 points, to go along with four assists and four steals. He was the only Warrior to reach double figures until Klay Thompson joined him in the fourth quarter. Thompson contributed 13, on 5-of-17 shooting.
Lee and Andre Iguodala both struggled. They combined to make just four-of-17 shots, for 16 points.
Golden State’s bench, which has struggled for much of the season, was the biggest bright spot. They combined to hit 11-of-20 shots, for 29 points. Jordan Crawford in particular played a big role in bringing the team back in the fourth quarter with several electric plays.
Beal led the way for Washington. He contributed a team-high 20 points, with seven rebounds and four assists. Wall came up big when he needed to, and had 15 points, eight boards, and five assists. Ariza and Marcin Gortat both finished with double-digit rebounds, with 11 and 12 respectively. As a team they out-rebounded the Dubs, 56-47.
It was a disappointing loss after such a strong win over the Portland Trail Blazers a couple of nights ago. They’ll look to rebound when the LA Clippers come to town, this Thursday.