Wizards vs. Warriors final score: Washington limits Golden State from deep, still loses 126-118

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.

Takeaways

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 SatoranskyTrevor 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.

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Wizards vs. Warriors final score: Washington falls short against defending champs 109-101

Kevin Durant scored a game-high 32 points and Steph Curry added 25 as the reigning champion Golden State Warriors come into Washington and beat the Wizards, 109-101 on Wednesday night.

Otto Porter led the way for Washington with 29 points, including 18 in the first half. Kelly Oubre added 17 points for a tired, dead-legged, Wizards squad playing on the second half of a back-to-back but it wasn’t enough to avoid the inevitable in this one.

The Wizards looked off to start the game. Shots weren’t falling in the first quarter and guys were making lazy passes leading to easy transition opportunities for Golden State. Washington committed five turnovers in the first quarter which turned into 11 Golden State points as the Wizards found themselves in an early hole.

Washington refused to let it get out of hand. They made several runs to keep the game close, but unfortunately for the Wizards, the Warriors did that thing where they let teams hang around and make them think there’s a chance to take control, only to rip off an 8-0 run in the blink of an eye whenever things got too close for comfort.

Takeaways

The bench provides a second-quarter spark

Everything changed for the Wizards in the second quarter thanks to the reserves. The bench unit ripped off a 10-0 run with hustle plays and ball movement to get the Wizards back in the game before it got out of hand. There was a sequence in the second quarter where Tim Frazier nabbed two offensive rebounds on the same possessions and dished the ball off to Mike Scott for a thunderous jam.

That jolt of energy the reserves provided carried over when the starters returned to the game as Porter, Morris, and Satoransky all knocked down 3-pointers as Washington was able to regain the lead for a brief moment, 53-52.

Washington outscored the Warriors 35-22 in the period giving them a fighter’s chance entering the second half. Not bad, considering Bradley Beal didn’t score until the third quarter of the game.

The scheduling fairies did the Wizards no favors tonight

Not only is Washington in the midst of their toughest stretch of the season, but having to play Golden State on the second half of a back-to-back after playing in Milwaukee the night before? Brutal. As a result, the Wizards came out flat to start the game and looked stuck in the mud for a large portion of the second half as they tried to fight back.

Don’t read too much into this loss. The Wizards just need to move on as they have two more important games against Eastern Conference foes later this week.

Game Notes

  • Bradley Beal was held scoreless in the first half for the first time this season and didn’t score his first basket of the game until the 5:17 mark of the third quarter. He ended the night with just eight points on a brutal 3-15 shooting
  • Everyone snacks – The Wizards combined for 25 assists tonight. Still good, but not 30+ assists like we’ve become so accustomed to in recent weeks.
  • Washington let the long ball fly tonight jacking up 32 three-pointers, but they only connected on 11 of them (34 percent).

Up Next: Hell week continues as the Raptors come to town Friday night in a pivotal Eastern Conference matchup.

Wizards at Warriors Final Score: Wizards can’t overcome final punch from Warriors, lose 120-117

The Wizards had a chance to knock off Golden State but their 18-point lead evaporated quickly in the fourth quarter as the Warriors would win 120-117.

Washington was up 80-62 in the third quarter but Golden State would outscore Washington 33-20 in the final period to regain control.

This one got chippy as Bradley Beal and Draymond Green were both ejected in the second quarter after a scuffle that was building up over time.

Washington falls to 1-2 on this early season west coast road trip.

Takeaways

About that chippiness

This started early and kept on building as the refs let them play. John Wall got whistled for an offensive foul in the first quarter in which he felt Steph Curry flopped. The two would have some choice words for each other but nothing would escalate between the two.

Late in the first quarter, Bradley Beal drove baseline and Draymond Green looked to jump straight up for the block but there was a lot of contact and no foul called. Green, who has a reputation for running his mouth, proceeded to run his mouth as the two jogged back up the court. Things were starting to heat up and finally, a Green block on Beal was the tipping point. Beal drove only to get rejected by Green at the rim who made sure to let Beal know about it afterward. Beal retaliated with a shove to Green’s back and that’s when all hell broke loose.

Expect a couple of fines and suspensions to come of this.

Washington finally gets hot from three-point range

Washington has struggled all season shooting the three-ball but finally got hot from distance tonight. The Wizards shot 33 threes, a season-high, connecting on 15 of them, also a season high.

Otto Porter Jr. knocked down a career-best seven three-pointers including two clutch ones in the fourth quarter to keep Washington in the game as Golden State was looking to run away.

Kelly Oubre was terrific from three-point range connecting on his first four attempts and at a time when the Wizards were building out their 18-point lead. Oubre would miss his final two attempts but still ended the night 4-6 from distance.

Looks like all that work with the shot doctor is starting to pay off.

Otto Porter has one of his best games as a Wizard

Otto Porter just keeps getting better and better and so does his offseason signing. Porter led the way for Washington tonight with 29 points on 11-16 shooting including 7-9 from three-point range. Porter grabbed 10 rebounds and also played terrific defense on Draymond Green in his new power forward role.

If Porter can continue to have impressive nights like this, the Wizards might not need to grab a free agent to create their own ‘Big 3’.

Tip Ins

  • To no one’s surprise, John Wall was great dishing the ball out as he notched 14 assists. However, his shooting continues to struggle. Again, Wall got off to a slow shooting start tonight and looked to force the issue a few too many times. Wall was driving to the hole to get calls, not to score, and unfortunately for Wall; he wasn’t getting those calls tonight.
  • Kelly Oubre Jr. matched his career-high with 19 points. The third-year player was terrific connecting on his first four three-point attempts in addition to snagging eight rebounds. Oubre looks better and better as this young season rolls along.
  • Free throw shooting may have cost Washington the game. The Wizards were just 16-22 from the line which isn’t terrible however four of those misses came in the fourth quarter while Golden State was mounting their comeback. The Wizards missed six free throws and lost by three points. You do the math.

Next up: Washington heads to Sacramento on Sunday night to close out their road trip.

The Warriors are sitting back laughing as the rest of the NBA is in scramble mode

The Golden State Warriors beat the Cleveland Cavaliers for the second time in three years on June 12th. And ever since that day, every team not named the Warriors is scrambling to try and play catch up. The blueprint is out on how to win a championship. Just years ago, a “Big 3” would be enough to get the job done. But as we just recently saw, having three all-stars including LeBron James, was barely enough to keep the Cavaliers from getting swept which would have been the ultimate embarrassment.

A “Big 4” is now required to compete for a championship. And as a result, teams are in full-on scramble mode in trying to orchestrate a team that will give them a fighting chance against the Golden State Warriors over the next few years.

The Cleveland Cavaliers have made three-straight finals appearances and won one of them. However, in the owner, Dan Gilbert’s mind, that plus “disagreement on the direction of the future” led to the termination of General Manager, David Griffin.

Let’s think about that. A General Manager who made the finals three straight times and under extreme circumstances (having to consult LeBron James on every decision) still wasn’t enough to warrant an extension.

Now that Cleveland is aware that a “Big 3” of LeBron James, Kevin Love, and Kyrie Irving isn’t enough to compete with the Warriors, they’ve started reaching out to the Pacers and Bulls to gauge the interest of Paul George and Jimmy Butler respectively.

Even with Cleveland’s success, the Cavaliers are still left scrambling as they were trying to acquire star Jimmy Butler from Chicago. After it felt like Kevin Love had found his niche with the Cavs, he’ll now be the centerpiece in all trade talks that the Cavs are involved with.

And remember the Lakers? The lowly Lakers who finished 26-56 this past season? Well, they’re just as much in the mix as Cleveland is. Just last night, The Lakers traded D’Angelo Russell and Timofey Mozgov (salary dump) to the Nets in exchange for Brooke Lopez and their first round draft pick.

This is significant because with the Lakers expected to draft Lonzo Ball on Thursday night’s draft, they’ve now cleared up roughly $60 million in salary cap space which will allow them to sign one and potentially two max deal free agents in the summer of 2018.

Now that Paul George has made it clear that he’s leaving the Pacers after next year to go to the Lakers, teams are in a bind debating whether they should take a shot on the all-star for one year knowing that he’ll leave or just stay away altogether. About a half a dozen teams are interested in George but realistically, he’s going to be in either a Pacers, Cavaliers, or Lakers uniform next year.

And remember that Lebron James guy? He can also opt out of his deal in the summer of 2018 and has been linked to the Lakers on several occasions. Now the Lakers have the cap space necessary to sign both James and George next summer including other aging stars if they are willing to take pay cuts to form yet another super-team.

To recap: A GM who won a title just one year ago has been fired. The best player in the league is unsettled with the firing of his GM and now looks more likely than ever to leave for L.A. after next year. A perennial all-star has demanded out of his current situation. The Lakers have cleared an enormous amount of cap space to make a run at one, maybe two more free agents. And the NBA season ended just nine days ago.

Not to mention, the Celtics could potential land Blake Griffin or Gordon Hayward. The Clippers are now shopping De’Andre Jordan. And the Knicks (yes the Knicks!!!) have started shopping Kristaps Porzingis to gauge the interest level of other teams.

And why all the chaos? Because how the hell else are you going to beat the Golden State Warriors?

Wizards at Warriors final score: Curry scores 42 as Warriors blow out Wizards, 139-115.

Steph Curry catches fire for 42 points as the Warriors beat the Wizards 139-115. Bradley Beal scored a team-high 20 points while Wall chipped in with 15 points and 11 assists but the Wizards didn’t have enough firepower to hang with Golden State tonight. The loss drops the Wizards to 2-3 on this road trip and the team is now a game back of Toronto and are currently in the 4-seed.

Steph Curry was smoking hot from the get-go and there was nothing the Wizards could do about it. Curry knocked down his first three three-pointers just minutes into the game as the Wizards found themselves in an early hole. But after a 0-3 start from the field for Washington, the Wizards connected on their next 7-8 shots to tie the game. Bradley Beal scored 13 points in the period while Wall dished out six assists but the Warriors shot 58 percent for the quarter for a 35-30 lead.

Former Wizard, Shaun Livingston also started out hot from the field as he connected on his first five field goals, all in the second quarter. Washington made several runs to cut the lead down to three, but the Warriors always had an answer. Washington used a 10-2 run to cut the lead down to two, 53-51 but the Warriors used a 12-4 run to close the half and led 67-57.

The Splash Brothers remained hot in the third quarter. Klay Thompson started the period off with a deep three to stretch the Warriors lead while Steph Curry was hitting acrobatic shots like this one as the Wizards founds themselves down by as many as 20.

Golden State led 106-88 and once again, things looked bleak for Washington.

The Wizards started the fourth quarter on an 8-0 run sparked by the reserves. Washington was able to get the deficit to as close as 9, 116-107 midway through the fourth quarter. But the Warriors reserves would hang on to win this one 139-115.

Defense is awful once again

Yes, Golden State is a different animal, but once again the Wizards didn’t do much to deter the Warriors tonight. Golden State shot 56 percent from the field and knocked down 16 three-pointers as they surrendered 100+ points through three quarters for the second time in three games. And as expected, Steph Curry had his revenge game against the Wizards with 42 points.

Kelly Oubre comes back to earth offensively

After his best four-game stretch of the season, Kelly Oubre came back to earth on the offensive end. Oubre scored just six points tonight on 2-11 shooting including just 2-4 from the free-throw line.

On a positive note, Oubre stayed in stride on the defensive end with several deflections and hustle plays. The offensive isn’t always going to be there for Oubre, but the key for him is continuing to play hard on the defensive end.

Too many turnovers

The Wizards committed 15 turnovers resulting in 28 points for the Warriors. You’re not going to beat Golden State coughing up the ball that much.

Wizards vs. Warriors final score: Wall racks up 19 assists as Washington beats Golden State 112-108

John Wall matched his career-high with 19 assists as the Wizards broke out of their post All-Star game funk with one of their best wins of the season. All five Wizards starters finished in double-figures tonight led by Bradley Beal with 25 and Markieff Morris with 22 as theWizards closed out the Warriors 112-108.

There was a ton of hype leading up to this one and rightfully so. The Wizards waited until Golden State was in town before turning in their best first quarter of the season. Unfortunately, Kevin Durant injured his knee at the 10:27 mark of the first quarter and would be sidelined the rest of the game.

After some not so great starts in their past two games, the Wizards were on fire from the field connecting on their first four field goals and four of their first five three-pointers.

Later in the quarter, Wall parted the Red Sea to bang home a nasty left-handed dunk:

Then the Wizards went showtime on us with some nifty plays in transition to open up an impressive early lead.

Washington shot 62.5 percent from the field including 4-6 from three-point range as they took a 40-26 lead after one quarter.

The offense stalled out a bit in the second quarter but newly acquired Bojan Bogdanovic came to the rescue. He scored the first nine points of the second period for the Wizards, as the bench unit was able to keep the Wizards’ lead intact.

Washington had an opportunity to blow this one open but was very loose with the ball, turning it over 14 times in the first half. Turnovers aside, the Wizards still went into halftime up 12, 61-49.

You knew the Warriors wouldn’t go away and they got back in this one with a quick 10-0 run to start the third quarter. After trading baskets for most of the period, the game was all tied up going into the fourth quarter.

Washington started the final quarter ice-cold, missing 14 of their first 17 shots. But for every punch Golden State threw, the Wizards had a counter. Brooks went with the small lineup of Wall-Beal-Bogdanovic-Porter-Morris to match the Warriors small-ball lineup midway through the fourth quarter. Just like the third quarter, the teams continued to trade baskets in a quarter that featured three ties and 12 lead changes.

With the game tied at 108 with under a minute to go, Otto Porter gathered an offensive rebound off of a Wall miss and got fouled going up for another shot. Porter calmly knocked down the free throws to give the Wizards an 110-108 lead.

Washington had a minor hiccup on defense leaving Curry open for a split second, but he missed the deep three that could have given the Warriors the lead in the closing seconds. Markieff Morris grabbed the rebound and sank two free throws with 3.7 seconds left to seal the 112-108 win.

Picture perfect first quarter

After an uninspiring start against Philly and a ho-hum start against Utah, the Wizards came out against Golden State guns blazing. Washington hit their first four jumpers of the game and seven of their first nine as they took an early 22-14 lead. Bradley Beal was 6-7 from the field for 16 points as the team dropped a season-high 40 points in the first quarter.

There were many highlights to choose from but this tic-tac-toe pass from Wall-Beal-Oubre for the dunk takes the cake.

Wizards make plays when it counts most

Washington made the plays to win this one when it counted most. The team struggled to score in the fourth quarter so they went back to their bread and butter. Wall continued to attack but didn’t get the foul calls he was looking for. However, this allowed guys like Gortat and Morris to crash the offensive glass for putbacks.

Plus, the Wizards were 10-10 from the free-throw line in the fourth quarter.

That’s how you close out games.

Bogdanovic provides the spark the Wizards were looking for

The Wizards lacked a scoring spark for the first half of the season and it looked like they may have found their guy to solve that problem, at least for now. Bogdanovic was the second-highest scorer in the first half with 12 points including the first nine points of the second period for Washington.

Bogdanovic ended the night with 16 points including going 3-6 from three-point range.

10 Predictions for the 2016-2017 NBA Season

The NBA season is right around the corner. Some things are a sure lock yet others remain a complete unknown. Without further ado, let’s go over 10 predictions (I hopefully don’t get too wrong) for this NBA season.

1.  The Warriors and Cavaliers will meet in the finals for a third straight year – Please name one team that has a shot of taking either of these two down. Yeah… that’s what I thought.

2.  The Warriors will win 70+ games – When the over/under odds came out in Vegas and Golden State’s win total was set at 66.5, I did a double take. This team won 73 games last year and they ADDED Kevin Durant. Anytime the Warriors lose this season it will be a major upset and will be all over ESPN and the other sports networks. Barring a major injury, I don’t think 70 wins will be a problem for this team.

3.  The Cavaliers will coast to 60+ wins – Another surprisingly low over/under was Cleveland’s as their win total was set at 56.5. The thing about Cleveland is, even though they won the championship, all of the focus will still be on Golden State this year. With a watered down Eastern Conference that will be worse than it was last year, I don’t think LeBron James and the Cavs will have any troubles eclipsing the 60-win mark. The only way they don’t get to 60 wins is if LeBron James frequently sits out games for rest.

4.  The Houston Rockets will average 112 points per gameThe Rockets averaged 106.5 points per game last year; good enough for the 8-seed out west. I don’t forsee any scoring setbacks now that Mike D’Antoni is head coach of the Rockets. D’Antoni is an offensive minded coach and will be using James Harden at the point guard position this season. Not only will this team score a ton, they won’t be playing any defense as that’s not really D’Antoni’s M.O. Since they won’t be too worried on the defensive end, they’ll be forced to put up gaudy offensive numbers just to stay competitive in games.

5.  The Heat and the Hawks will miss the playoffs – The Heat and the Hawks finished third and fourth in the Eastern Conference last year. The Heat lost the face of the franchise in Dwyane Wade and also lost Chris Bosh due to medical complications. The Hawks, on the other hand, lost Jeff Teague and Al Horford to the Pacers and Celtics respectively in free agency. Both of these teams lost two of their top players and signed average to slightly above-average players to bandage the wounds. Expect both teams to take a major step backward and miss the playoffs.

6.  The Knicks will make the playoffs – I went back and forth on this one. I don’t think Derrick Rose and Joakim Noah are able to stay healthy for an entire season but the thing is, the Eastern Conference isn’t going to be as good as it was last year. If Carmelo Anthony can play in 70+ games and Kristaps Porzingis continues to develop as scheduled, that should be enough for the Knicks to win about 40 games and get into the playoffs.

7.  Joel Embiid will win Rookie of the Year – Too bad for all of the guys who got drafted this season as Joel Embiid is the initial favorite to win rookie of the year. He’s on a bad team so he’ll get plenty of playing time. He’ll have free reign as the 76ers will be losing most games. Oh, and let’s not forget, he’s talented as hell. The only thing holding the big man back is injuries. I really hope Embiid can stay healthy because he has the potential to be a special player .

(Vine by cjzero)

8. John Wall will be a top-5 MVP Candidate – Outside of Damian Lillard, John Wall might be the most underrated player in the NBA. Wall averaged 19.9 points and 10.2 assists last season coming up just .1 point shy of becoming the eleventh player in NBA history to average 20 points and 10 assists for a season. He was the only constant for a Wizards team that likely would have only won 25-30 games last season without him. I expect Wall to put up similar numbers this year and because the Wizards should have a better record than last season (41-41), that should get him more recognition and into the top-5 in MVP voting.

9. The Oklahoma City Thunder will barely make the playoffs – The Rockets, Jazz, Timberwolves, and Trail Blazers all got better during the offseason. The Oklahoma City Thunder took a step back as they lost Kevin Durant to the Golden State Warriors. Russell Westbrook will be a man on a mission and will likely put up monster numbers every single night. The issue is, When Kevin Durant went down during the 2014-2015 season, Westbrook put up monster numbers and the team still missed the playoffs. The talent around Westbrook is solid but Durant leaving will leave a bigger dent than people wish to believe. As a result, the Thunder will have to sneak into the playoffs with either the seventh or eighth seed. A Warriors-Thunder first round matchup would be a pretty nice start to the playoffs, no?

10.  Giannis Antetokounmpo will win Most Improved Player – The Greek Freak is entering the fourth year of his NBA career. He’s increased his scoring, rebounding, and assist numbers every season he’s been in the league. Now that he’ll be playing point guard in Jason Kidd’s offense, this is the year the Greek Freak catapults himself onto the scene, maybe even making an All-Star appearance. He’s got the tools to be a Kevin Durant-type player, and this is the year he puts it together.

Bonus: The Warriors will win the championship – They’re pissed about blowing a 3-1 lead in the finals last year. On top of that, there’s no team out west who’ll test them prior to the finals.