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.


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 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.

Kevin Durant will never play for the Wizards. And you can’t blame him.

As I walked through the Fifth Avenue Niketown store yesterday during the release of the new KD9’s, it finally hit me. There’s no way in hell that Kevin Durant will go back home and play for the Washington Wizards.

I was always pessimistic regarding the #KD2DC hoopla which emerged two years ago when Durant hinted that it might be cool to come back home and play in front of his hometown fans. LeBron James did it at the peak of his career so Durant might be more inclined to, right?

Over the past 10-15 years, the DMV went from a non-factor in the High School and AAU circuit to a basketball factory churning out college and NBA players left and right. Outside of Kevin Durant, some notable players from the DMV area include Ty Lawson, Rudy Gay, Greivis Vazquez, Victor Oladipo, and Michael Beasley. Let’s not forget Grant Hill who was also a force to be reckoned with in the late 90’s and early to mid 2000’s.

As I approached the store, I couldn’t see the end of the line to get in as it wrapped around the city block. Men, Women, Boys, Girls, Kids, Teens, Adults all lined up to be one of the firsts to buy a pair of the KD9’s.

It occurred to me that Kevin Durant’s brand is way larger than I envisioned and if his new shoe release had people waiting for hours just to gain entry to a shoe store, why would he need to come back home to play in Washington? Durant plays in by far, the smallest NBA metropolis but is able to keep people waiting for hours on end just to purchase his new shoe. He doesn’t need the big city glitz and glamour, as he’s become arguably the third most recognizable NBA player all while playing in a small market.

He has a major shoe deal, is easily recognizable, and has a very strong brand. So why on earth would he come back to play in Washington, D.C.? He doesn’t and probably won’t play in D.C. during his NBA career.

As Kevin Durant enters his 10th season, he’s amassed many awards; MVP, Scoring Title, and an Olympic Gold Medal. But there’s one thing missing; an NBA championship. After the Thunder traded away Serge Ibaka for Victor Oladipo on draft night, the Thunder would boast the best NBA roster (on paper) were Durant to re-sign in Oklahoma City. In addition, Durant plans to meet with the Warriors, Spurs, Celtics, Heat, and Clippers. All are teams who are in a much better position to win a championship than the Washington Wizards.

As it stands, the only Wizards’ piece that would appear attractive to Durant is playing alongside dynamic point guard, John Wall. Wall has many similarities to Durant’s teammate Russell Westbrook but is a pass first point guard. If Durant were to sign in Washington, there wouldn’t be any question as to whose team it is.

But what about playing in front of his family and friends? That’s a lot of pressure. And the number of ticket requests, people asking for photos, autographs, etc. would skyrocket. Most iconic NBA players don’t feel the need to play in front of their family and friends for reasons listed above. Outside of LeBron James, there aren’t many who have returned home during the peak of their career. Could Durant return home years from now after he’s accomplished his goal of winning an NBA title? Sure. But by that point, he’ll be way past his prime.

Durant’s brand is booming and he’s arguably the third best player in the NBA. The only thing missing from his resume is an NBA championship. Currently, the Wizards are far from accomplishing that feat. So why would he want to come home?

Triple-Double by Westbrook Fuels Thunder Past Wiz, 114-98

Russell Westbrook notches his seventh triple-double of the season with 17 points, 13 rebounds, and 11 assists as the Thunder make easy work of the Wizards 114-98. Kevin Durant scored a game-high 28 points in what the Wizards hope will be the last time playing against Durant in a Thunder uniform.

Both teams started this game hot as the Wizards were 6-6 from the field and the Thunder started 5-7. The difference? Turnovers. The Wizards committed four turnovers in the first few minutes of play allowing the Thunder to jump out to an early 20-12 lead.

Bradley Beal, who scored a team-high 18 points got cooking early in the second quarter knocking down shots on back-to-back possessions. Next time down, Ramon Sessions raced the length of the court forcing Billy Donovan to call time out as the Wizards cut the lead to nine. But every time the Wizards made a run, the Thunder had an answer to keep them at bay.

The Wizards couldn’t get any stops on the defensive end as the Thunder dropped 64 on the Wiz in the first half and led, 64-52 at halftime.

Once again, the Wizards went on a mini run and were able cut the Thunder lead to six. But in the blink of an eye, Durant was scoring on the other end keeping the lead at a comfortable margin.

Russell Westbrook would sidestep John Wall for a layup as the Thunder led 92-76 after three.

The Thunder had an answer for every Wizards run and would close this one out, 114-98.

Rebounding: The rebounding for the Wizards was atrocious. Oklahoma City out-rebounded the Wizards 53-27 including 14-2 on the offensive glass. The Wizards didn’t get their first offensive rebound until early in the third quarter. Russell Westbrook, a point guard, had more than twice as many rebounds (13) than the Wizards high rebounder Gortat (6). The Wizards were simply overmatched and couldn’t do anything about Oklahoma City’s bigger and more physical frontline.

Wizards Struggle from Three Point Range: The Wizards only made one three-pointer in the first half. The other six three-pointers came in quasi-garbage time as this team would make a mini run giving the fan base false hope. The pace and space really isn’t super effective unless three balls are falling. The Wizards ended the night 7-26 from range.

Things don’t get any easier as Golden State comes to town Wednesday night.

Russell Westbrook notches triple double as Wizards get rolled again, 125-101.

When looking at the schedule before the season started, the Wizards’ faithful circled this game. Kevin Durant was coming back to D.C. and the Wizards had the opportunity to give one last recruiting pitch before his free agency this summer. In anti-climatic fashion, Durant tweaked his hamstring in the second quarter but it didn’t matter as the Thunder roll the Wizards 125-101.

This is the third straight blowout loss for the Wizards and third straight game where they’ve surrendered at least 114 points.

The Wizards got some bad news before tip off hearing that Bradley Beal would miss this game with a sore shoulder. Gary Neal stepped right in and came out firing. Neal scored 14 points in his first start for the Wizards and was the main scoring option for the team in the first quarter.

The Thunder came out of the gates on fire. The Thunder shot 54% from the field in the first half including 8-9 from three point range with their only miss from long range coming on a desperation heave as time expired. Both Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant were on triple-double watch at halftime as the Thunder led 68-50.

Things continued to get ugly for the Wizards in the second half as the Thunder stretched the lead to 25 at the snap of a finger. In DeJuan Blair fashion, Blair saved the ball from going out of bounds flinging it to Westbrook. Westbrook raced and out in transition and punished the rim.

Russell Westbrook got his triple double logging 22 points, 11 rebounds, and 11 assists. Dude didn’t even have to play in the fourth quarter as this one was well decided by then.

The Wizards drop to 3-4 on this young season.

Notes: The sky isn’t falling quite yet for the Wizards but it’s damn near close. After three straight blowout losses, it’s clear that this team has absolutely zero interest in playing defense. The Wizards did cut down on their turnovers tonight only committing 8, but that doesn’t matter when the opponent shoots 51% and knocks down 15 three-pointers.

In #SoWizards fashion, the buzz and hoopla leading up to this game was all for not as it ended up a dud.