Can’t chalk this one up to lack of effort.
Steph Curry dropped 38 points on the Wizards Thursday evening as Golden State knocked off Washington, 126-118. All five Washington starters scored in double figures led by Trevor Ariza with 27 and Tomas Satoransky with 20, but it wouldn’t be enough as the Wizards just didn’t have the horses to keep up with Golden State.
This one started out as a track meet. Both teams ran up and down jacking up three-point shot after three-point shot to open the game. It’s not always the smartest idea to try and run on a team who likes to run, but the Wizards took an early 14-11 lead. Washington slowly cooled off after that point while Golden State went 15-of-24 from the field in the opening period to take a 37-28 lead after one quarter.
DeMarcus Cousins, who was playing in his third game back from injury, made his mark in this one starting in the second quarter as he took advantage of Washington’s undersized frontline. They could have folded, but they fought back and chipped away at the lead by forcing turnovers and creating opportunities in transition. Washington went into the locker room trailing 67-59, but had to feel good about keeping the game within reach for the first 24 minutes.
The Warriors, being an excellent third quarter team, opened the second half up with a 17-10 run to take a 15-point lead. Curry, who scored 19 points in the first half, added another 14 in the third period. The Wizards cut the lead back down to single-digits briefly near the end of the quarter, but it felt that the Warriors had this one in hand with a 104-92 lead entering the fourth quarter.
And that’s when things got awfully interesting. Washington’s three-point shooting picked back up in the fourth. Timely three-pointers from Ariza, Satoransky, and Chasson Randle got the Wizards within two, 108-106.
After turning the Warriors over, Washington got out in transition where Randle found Sam Decker cutting to the rim for an open layup, but he missed it off the back of the iron. Golden State snagged the board and went on a 15-3 run after that missed layup to put the game out of reach.
Washington lets it fly from 3
It was clear from the opening tip what the game plan was for Washington tonight — if they wanted to be competitive in this one, they’d have to let it fly from three. The Warriors came into this game as one of the best three-point shooting teams in the league and the Wizards tried to fight fire with fire.
Washington jacked up 12 three-point attempts in the first quarter and 21 for the half, which was one of the main reasons the Wizards stayed within striking distance early.
The Warriors would go on their inevitable third-quarter run to stretch the lead out to 15, 84-69. But once again, it was Washington’s three-point shooting that got them back in this one. Tomas Satoransky, Trevor Ariza, and Chasson Randle all hit three-pointers as Washington trimmed the lead to two in the fourth quarter, 108-106.
The Wizards shot 15-of-42 from distance tonight, but missed a few too many open looks to pull off the upset.
Tomas Satoransky turns in an outstanding performance
No, he didn’t put up a career-high and points and no; it wasn’t a triple-double, but Satoransky had a great game and one of the best performances of his career. As mentioned, Sato had 20 points to go along with 10 assists and 3 rebounds tonight.
Satorasnky oozed confidence and was Washington’s best player tonight. From the opening tip, Sato played like he belonged out on the court and the moment never got too big for him. He looked confident with his shooting stroke, made the right passes, and didn‘t get baited into the turnovers the Warriors kill other teams with most nights.
It was great to see Satoransky — a player criticized early in his NBA career for being too passive and tentative — take charge against the best team in the league. He played with a gusto and confidence in the national spotlight that will catch people’s attention as he gets ready for free agency this summer.
Washington doesn’t get enough help from their bench
Otto Porter has been terrific off the bench since coming back from injury but he had his first dud of a shooting performance against the Warriors. He missed his first six shots of the game and ended the night going 3-of-14 for seven points and missing all seven of his three-point attempts.
Chasson Randle was a pleasant surprise with 11 points in his reserve role tonight but you’re just not going to knock off the champs when your bench combines for just 20 points.
Next up: Washington will be back in action Friday night as they travel to Orlando to take on the Magic at 7 pm Eastern Time.