February 28, 2021

Washington Wizards Game 47 Recap: Reigning MVP Stephen Curry too much for Wiz even with John Wall playing his best

The defending NBA champion Golden State Warriors made their annual visit to the Nation’s capital tonight. In what seemed like an impossible matchup for the Washington Wizards, who have struggled to enter the playoff picture, John Wall was confident that the home team would have a chance if they started playing defense. Wall and company expected a “road game” atmosphere with the large influx of fans trying to see Stephen Curry play, similarly to Kobe Bryant‘s last hurrah in DC, but it was more that DC natives were simply in awe with the reigning MVP’s greatness.

It was indeed the Steph Curry show early as the shooting phenom lit up the first quarter with 25 points including seven circus 3-pointers. For all of their faults, the Wizards fought back to shrink a 15 point down to a single bucket. DC’s point guard finished the game with a season-high 41 points to go along with 10 assists, but will likely be be overshadowed by Curry (51 points, 7 rebounds, career-high tying 11 3-pointers) because of the outcome. Washington did not make enough layups or come up with enough stops late to be competitive as they well 134-121 in front of a capacity crowd.

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Washington Wizards Game 31 Recap: Wizards drop third straight at home

Last season, the Washington Wizards no doubt reached a point at which they looked forward to avoiding long road stints. As of late, it seems the tables have turned as the squad can’t seem to find their groove at home.

The Wizards dropped their third straight game at the Verizon Center Sunday night, falling 112-96 to the red-hot Golden State Warriors. With the loss, the Wizards are now 7-8 at home and set to embark on a three-game road stint beginning Tuesday night in Charlotte.

Despite a sluggish first quarter, the Wizards pulled things together before halftime, largely on the backs of Nene and John Wall.

Golden State’s Andrew Bogut and Andre Iguodala helped prevent the Wizards from pulling in front for long as the two took advantage of free baskets and Washington’s missed shots. As such, the two teams entered halftime tied 58-58.

Before the end of the third quarter, however, Washington endured plenty of boos from its own fan base. The Warriors tallied 13 points before Washington made its first basket of the half – a long three from Wall.

 By the time Nene made the Wizards’ second shot of the third quarter, Washington trailed Golden State 77-63.

In fact, the two shots marked the Wizards’ only baskets until Martell Webster sank one with little more than two minutes remaining in the quarter. Otto Porter Jr. made two free throws before Jan Vesely and Nene combined for six points, but Washington entered the fourth quarter with a seemingly insurmountable 92-73 deficit.

“I thought we were pretty energized in the first half,” Wizards head coach Randy Wittman said after the game. “Both teams played at a pretty high level. We’re leaving it somewhere in the locker room and not bringing it out, and they [Golden State] did. They played two halves, we played a half. It’s playing through our adversity at the offensive end, we’ve got to learn.”

Wall and Nene each led the Wizards’ scoring efforts with just 14 points apiece. Although Webster and Marcin Gortat each recorded double-digit points, Washington could do little to make up for the 26 points tallied by Golden State’s Klay Thompson.

“I think sometimes we take it for granted the skills we have, and what we are capable of doing as a team, and we let other teams come in and just take our house from us,” Beal said. “That is something we have to stay away from, and we got to protect this first, and now we have to put this behind us and try to get games on the road now.”

Washington Wizards Weekend Wrap: Wiz top Lakers but unravel against Warriors

It’s been the great mystery for the Washington Wizards (25-44) this season – how a sub-.400 team can boast wins against the Miami Heat, L.A. Clippers, New York Knicks and, now, the L.A. Lakers, yet falter against teams that fall into Washington’s category of the win/loss column.

This weekend, the Wizards showcased both the team they aspire to be and the team that lacks the firepower to stand as a contender late in March, much in part because of the losses they “should have” won, rather than a lack of upsets this season. [Read more…]

Washington Wizards Game Wrap 17: Wizards Let Game Slip Away in 101-97 Loss to Golden State Warriors

Poor interior defense and wasted possessions allowed the Golden State Warriors to walk out of the Verizon Center with a 101-97 win, snapping the Washington Wizards’ two-game home winning streak.

Washington has struggled with teams who shoot well all year long and that created matchup problems all night for the Wizards with Stephen Curry’s Golden State Warriors coming to town. Even though the cards were already stacked against the Wizards, it was the team itself that cost them the game, not the stellar play of the Warriors.

“I think the big difference for tonight is we got just hammered on the boards, second chance points, 11 point difference there,” Wizards Head Coach Randy Wittman said. “Then, you know free throws, get to the line, give nine away there. Different reasons why you lose close games.”

Those matchup issues presented themselves almost immediately too, as the Warriors jumped out to a quick lead on Washington. Working the low post and the deep jumper, Golden State showed why they are so hard to guard throughout the first quarter.

The second quarter began with the Warriors holding onto a slim, but seemingly commanding 28-21 lead. It was not a huge deficit for the Wizards to overcome, but they could not seem to get within five points of the Warriors. That was, until Cartier Martin got involved. In the closing minutes of the second quarter, Martin went on a 6-0 by himself and scored eight of the Wizards’ 10 total points to close the quarter. While the Wizards weren’t able to tie the game, they did come within three points of the lead, heading to the locker room down 50-47.

Rookie Bradley Beal had a rough first half, only scoring two points and missing on easy open looks. Those struggles did not follow him into the second. The graduate of the University of Florida came out on fire, hitting two of his first three shots and scoring six of the Wizards’ first nine points to open the half. Too bad for Washington his hot shooting would not continue and the team just could not close the gap in the third.

“[Starting slow has] been [a problem] for two games now, I have to come out a lot stronger in the first half attacking more,” Beal said following the game. “The second half I was getting to the basket more, starting inside and working my way out. Sometimes I find myself shooting too many threes or settling for too many jump shots.”

Washington gave a way too many possessions and missed too many free throws down the stretch in the third to take the lead. Turnovers killed the red, white and blue, who were down just one point, 71-70 heading into the fourth. It would be a series of missed opportunities for Washington, as the team should have been leading heading into the final quarter.

“We couldn’t get over the hump, I just mentioned that to the guys. Wide open look too knock down, just couldn’t get that push to get over the top,” Wittman said. “Then on top of it, I thought [Klay] Thompson’s three with the clock running down … it goes in. It’s kind of our luck right now.”

Even though Curry was a driving force behind the Warriors’ offense throughout the game, it was David Lee who was killing the Wizards. Entering the fourth quarter he had 18 points and 12 boards, nine of them on the defensive side of the court. While he would sit out at the beginning of the final quarter, Golden State would not need him.

Even without Curry and Lee on the floor, Golden State was able to regain their small, but seemingly huge lead. Baskets from Draymond Green and Harrison Barnes made it 78-72 with three minutes left. As they did all night though, Washington again fought back and took the lead 79-78 after a big Jordan Crawford three. Both teams went back and fourth until Golden State again started to flex their scoring muscles, taking an 88-84 lead.

Washington was not able to get themselves back over the hump, even with the Warriors putting themselves in the double bonus with more than a minute to go. Crawford did his best to get the lead back for the Wizards, at one point hitting back-to-back three-pointers to make it 95-92 with 53-seconds left. Draymond Green would foul out with 16 seconds left to send Martell Webster to the line, but he would only hit one of the two free shots.

Beal followed up Curry’s free throws with a three of his own, but Washington had to foul again and Curry made sure he did not miss either of them. Following the shots, Beal would go to the line at the other end and after making the first shot, he missed the second on purpose, but the Wizards were not able to put the ball in the bucket and ened up fouling Golden State’s Carl Landry to end the game.

Another close lose for the Wizards and suddenly just like last year, they have the exact same 2-15 record they started with. Heading on a two game road trip, a place they haven’t won all year, Washington could be waiting until next weekend to get their next hom e win.

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