Warriors win a shootout by downing the Washington Wizards 135-126

Golden State Warriors guard Klay Thompson (11) shoots against Washington Wizards forward Deni Avdija (9) during the first half at the Chase Center in San Francisco on Mon Feb 13, 2023 (AP News photo)

By Jerry Feitelberg

The Golden State Warriors (29-28) snapped a two-game losing streak Monday night by beating the Washington Wizards (26-30) 135-126. The Warriors’ Andrew Wiggins had his best game since returning from a groin injury. Klay Thompson was hot in the first half. Kevon Looney had a double-double.

The Warriors’ bench all helped get the win for Golden State. Donte DiVincenzo, Ty Jerome, JaMychal Green, Jonathan Kuminga, and Moses Moody were excellent at putting points on the board.

The Warriors attacked the rim all night. As a result, the disparity at the foul line disappeared. 

The game could have started better for the Warriors. The Wizards came out firing. Kristaps Porzingis, the seven-foot-three giant from Latvia, scored 16 points in the first quarter. Bradley Beal added ten as the Wizards shot 74% from the floor and led the Warriors 39-29 at the end of the quarter.

Draymond Green and Jordan Poole had to sit on the bench in the second quarter as they each committed three fouls. Warriors head coach Steve Kerr called on DiVincenzo, Moody, JaMychal Green, and Moody to get momentum going. The players did what Kerr wanted.

The Wizards led by 15 early in the second quarter. Thompson found his stroke as he could connect on three-point shots. The Warriors went on a 10-1 run to trail by one, 59-58. The Wizards regained the lead momentarily. Thompson made another three, and Jerome’s bucket put the Warriors ahead 63-62.

The Warriors kept rolling, finishing the first half leading 71-66. They outscored the Wizards by 15 points in the second period. Thompson had 20, Wiggins and DiVincenzo each had 11. Porzingis led the Wizards with 18. Beal knocked down 16, and Kendrick Nunn, coming off the bench, had 11. Both teams were hot. The Wizards shot 66% from the floor, the Warriors 59.6% 

The Warriors kept the momentum going in the third period. JaMychal Green made three threes in the period. The Warriors continued to drive to the basket, picking up fouls along the way. The Warriors increased the lead to 18 late in the third quarter,106-88. However, they allowed the Wizards to score the last five points of the period to trail.

Everyone who follows the NBA knows 13-point deficits can be overcome in the fourth quarter. The Warriors lost their last two games by failing to produce in crunch time. They did not want to lose again by letting a team overcome a double-digit deficit.

The Wizards cut the deficit to nine by scoring the first four points of the fourth quarter. Kevon Looney made a bucket to stop the run. The Wizards picked up where they left off and made it a 108-101 game. The fans were starting to get nervous. The Warriors regained their composure. Looney, Wiggins, Poole, and Thompson played like the champions that they are. The Warriors increased the lead to 12.

Game Notes and Stats: With the win, the Warriors are 29-28. The Wizards fall to 26-30. 

The Warriors had six players in double figures. Wiggins led the team with 29 points. Wiggins made three threes. Thompson had 27 points, and he made four threes. Poole had 14 and three threes. Looney finished with a double-double, 13 points, and 13 rebounds. Looney played 31 minutes Monday night.

DiVincenzo had 17 points. DiVincenzo made five threes. JaMychal Green knocked down 4. JaMychal made four threes in four attempts. Jerome added nine, and he recorded seven assists.

The Warriors shot 58% from the floor. They made 20 threes in 40 tries. They outrebounded the Wizards 40-36 and recorded 40 assists on 52 made baskets. The Warriors ran the court well. They found the open man and made the shots needed to win.

After the game, Steve Kerr said, “this was Andew Eiggins’s best game since he’s been back.” Kerr also remarked this about Wiggins,” he got us a lot of key buckets.” Kerr also praised JaMychal Green, DiVincenzo, Jerome, and Moody.

The Wizards’ Porzinga led his team with 34. Beal added 33. The only other Wizard players in double figures were Nunn with 13 and Delon Wright with 11.

The Warriors are off to Los Angeles to play the Clippers Tuesday night. The game will star at 7 pm.

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