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.”