Wizards Hang on For Win Against Warriors
John Wall of the Wizards elevate for a high flying dunk. Washington Wizards defeated Golden State Warriors 112-108 during a game at the Verizon Center in Washington, D.C. on Tuesday, February 28, 2017. Alan P. Santos/DC Sports Box
WASHINGTON, D.C. - After losing their first two games out of the All-Star break, the Wizards needed a signature victory to maintain their position in the Eastern Conference, and to regain some confidence. The team did just that, pulling off a 112-108 win in a nail bitter against the Golden State Warriors.
 
With 20 seconds left and the game tied at 108, John Wall missed a 19-footer, with Otto Porter Jr. grabbing the offensive board and getting fouled by Stephen Curry. Porter drained his free throws to put the Wizards up 2. On the next Warriors’ possession, the Wizards made what on any other night would be considered a grave mistake, leaving Curry open from beyond the arc. But tonight, Curry’s 31-footer clanked off the rim with Markieff Morris grabbing the rebound and draining two free throws to put the game away.

“We made a few more plays than them down the stretch. It was obviously a hard-fought game,” said Wizard Coach Scott Brooks. “Both teams were clawing, and grabbing, and punching each other trying to win the game. I’m glad we made a few more plays.”

The Wizards got off to their best first quarter start all season, connecting on 4-of-5 from beyond the arc to start the quarter and shooting 62.5% from the field overall to take a 40-26 lead. Kevin Durant, who leads the Warriors in scoring, checked out early in the first quarter with a knee injury and would not return.

The game pace slowed down in the second quarter with the majority of the starters getting a breather. New addition, Bojan Bogdanovic provided a boost off the bench for the Wizards, scoring the team’s first 9 points in the quarter. Despite being plagued by their poor shooting in the first half (3-for-12 from beyond the arc), the Warriors were able to cut into the Wizards lead and went into the half down by 12, 61-49.

After an early basket by Wall started the second half, the Warriors went on a 10-0 run sparked by Curry’s first three-pointer after 14 consecutive misses from beyond the arc, dating back to the Warriors win against the Sixers. The Warriors took their first lead of the game later in the quarter before ending the quarter all tied up at 85.

The Wizards went ice cold from the field in the fourth, starting 3-for-17 from the field, allowing the Warriors to take their largest lead of the game, 98-95, with 4:11 remaining. For the remainder of the game, both teams exchanged baskets with the lead shifting back and forth until Porter and Morris put the game away from the charity stripe. 

Stephen Curry of the Warriors misses a game winning three pointer to win the game late in the 4th quarter. Washington Wizards defeated Golden State Warriors 112-108 during a game at the Verizon Center in Washington, D.C. on Tuesday, February 28, 2017. Alan P. Santos/DC Sports Box
All five Wizards starters finished in double figures with Bradley Beal leading the way with 25 points. Despite a poor day from the field (6-for-20), Wall finished with 12 points and 19 assists, tying his career high. Bogdanovic was a big presence off the bench for the Wizards going 3-for-6 from beyond the arc and finishing with 16 points.

Curry finished with 25 points while Klay Thompson added 16, as the Wizards held the duo to a combined 14-for-40 from the field. Draymond Green finished just short of a triple-double with 14 points, 14 assists, and 8 rebounds.

Back on Track:

The Wizards were one of the hottest teams in the NBA before the All-Star break, with a league-best 9-1 record over their last 10 games. After coming out of the break with two straight losses to the Sixers and the Jazz, the players believe that the win against the Warriors will help get the team back on track for the second half of the season.

“We’re back. We’re back to our regular selves,” said Porter. “We knew it was going to be a hard-fought game and we had to bring our A-game. It just kind of solidifies us coming back out of the break. Now we just have to continue.”

“We gave up two that we feel like we should have won,” said Beal. “We wanted to get back on track and this is a great team to do it against and a great start for us.”

Upcoming Games:

The Wizards play the Toronto Raptors on the road on Wednesday evening.

The Warriors play the Chicago Bulls on the road on Thursday evening.
 
Written by Hirdesh Matta