Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry embraces with Washington Wizards Bradley Beal (right) following their game in Washington on Wed Apr 21, 2021 (AP News photo)
By Jerry Feitelberg
The Golden State Warriors (29-30) ended their five-game road trip in Washington Wednesday night. The Warriors were hoping to avenge a tough 110-107 loss to the Wizards (25-33) at the Chase Center on April 6th. In that game, the Wizards won when Bradley Beal completed a four-point play to give Washington the win.
On Wednesday, it was a similar ending. The Warriors fought back from an early 19-point deficit to play well in the second and third quarters. They led by ten late in the fourth quarter, but the Wizards kept attacking the rim—the Warriors kept committing fouls, and the Wizards won the game from the free-throw line. The final score was 118-114 in favor of Washington.
The Wizards found a way to contain Stephen Curry. In the first quarter, two Wizard players were hounding Steph. They forced Curry to commit four turnovers. The Wizards led by 19 at one point in the quarter. The Warriors’ five starters could not get anything going. Kelly Oubre, Jr., playing on the second unit, gave the Warriors offense a jolt, but it wasn’t enough as they finished the quarter trailing 38-20.
With Curry and Draymond Green on the bench, The second unit’s Jordan Poole, Kelly Oubre, and Andrew Wiggins led the Warriors on a 24-28 run to tie the game at 44. Washington’s defense stiffened, and the Wizards finished the first half leading 60-58. Kelly Oubre led the offense with 18. Kent Bazemore and Andrew Wiggins each had 10. Curry had four.
The Warriors second unit paced the Warriors’ offense in the third quarter. Jordan Poole, Oubre, and Bazemore helped propel the Warriors into the lead 93-86 after three periods of action. Unfortunately, they were not able to put the game in the win column.
They led by eight 101-93. The Wizards kept attacking, and the Warriors kept fouling. The Wizards crept within a single point 106-105 with 2:44 left to play. The big Latvian, Davis Bertrans, knocked down a three to put Washington ahead 110-108. The Warriors tied it at 110. Russell Westbrook and Bradley Beal each made a two-point bucket to give Washington the advantage 114-110.
Curry made a basket to make it 114-112. Bertrans connected again. Curry answered with another deuce. The Warriors trailed by two, but time was running out. They fouled Bertrans, and he made both free throws to ice the win for the Wizards.
Game Notes and Stats: With the loss, the Warriors finished the five-game road trip with a record of 3-2. The Warriors knew that they could have won all five games or at least four of the five. That didn’t happen, and their season record stands at 29-30 with thirteen games left in the season. The Warriors have the ninth-best record in the Western Conference. The Wizards, winners of six straight and eight of their last nine, are 25-33 for the year.
Curry did not lead the team in scoring. The Wizards snapped his streak of 11 consecutive games with 30 or more points. Curry finished with 18 points. He was seven-for-25 from the floor, and he made two threes in 14 attempts. It was a season-worst for Curry.
Kelly Oubre led the team with 24 points, nine rebounds, and an assist. Jordan Poole had 22 points and three boards. Poole had a season-high six threes. Kent Bazemore ended with nineteen points, nine rebounds, and three assists. Wiggins had 14, Kevon Looney six points and eight boards, Greem eight points, four rebounds, and eight assists. The team shot 39.6% from the floor, and they made 15 threes in 45 attempts.
The Warriors committed 23 fouls. Those fouls led to 32 points for Washington. The Wizards outscored the Warriors by 13 from the free-throw line 32-19. Those points made the difference in the game.
Bradley Beal led the Wizards’ offense with 29 points. Davis Bertrans and Daniel Gafford each had 19. Gafford had a double-double as he pulled down ten boards. Raul Neto had 18. Russell Westbrook finished with another triple-double. Westbrook tallied 14 points, pulled down 20 boards, and had ten assists.
The Wizards’ 20-year-old forward from Israel, Deni Avdiya injured his ankle with 40 seconds left in the first half. Avdija left the court in a wheelchair. The seriousness of the injury is not yet known.
After the game, Curry had this to say: “It was a great run,” Curry said after the game. “It was something that hadn’t been done before. It was going to end at some point. Now you got to start another one. So it’s just a matter of the next-play mentality.
Just try to get rejuvenated when we go home — to do it home, road, some big games, put a streak together, it was a special ride for sure. And never really get too hyped up on individual streaks or accolades like that. There were some historical names that I was able to pass. And doing something at this age was pretty special.”
The Warriors return to action Friday night when they host the Denver Nuggets. There will be fans in the stands for the first time this season. The Warriors will have the fans be tested for Covid-19.
The game will start at 7 pm.