Warriors Fight Back vs. Washington, Win 120-117
The Washington Wizards marched into Oracle Arena looking to take down the best team in the NBA after falling to the Los Angeles Lakers two days before. The Warriors came into this game looking to build on their last win and hopefully fix some of their turnover and defensive struggles. The game ended up as a slugfest between two of the best teams in the NBA, with the Warriors coming out on top.
The first quarter was not a pretty one for the Warriors. The team continued its stretch of committing a ton of turnovers and playing poor perimeter defense. The Washington offense was able to run wild and do basically whatever it wanted. The Wizards shot 53.8% in the first quarter, and they managed to build a seven point lead on the Warriors. The Warriors continued to be plagued by their lack of ball security, as they committed seven turnovers in the first quarter. The Warriors did manage to shoot 46.2% from the field, but did go 1/10 from three-point range. Stephen Curry led the Warriors with 12 points, but went 1/5 from deep. The Warriors were losing to the Wizards 34-27 after the first quarter.
The second quarter was a crazy one, not only did the Wizards get inexplicably hot from three (11-17, 64.7%), they also picked a fight which would result in the ejections of Draymond Green and Bradley Beal. The Warriors continued to be absurdly cold from three, going 3-20, and missing what felt like a thousand wide open threes. David West got hot in the second quarter and continued to play like the best center on the roster, and ended the half with 10 points. Klay Thompson also got hot and ended the half with 13 points. The real story of the quarter though was the fight. With under a minute left, Draymond Green did what everyone is supposed to do when the opponent shoots, and he boxed out Bradley Beal to give himself a better shot at getting the rebound. Bradley Beal decided that he couldn’t handle getting boxed out and reached around and slapped Draymond in the face, and proceeded to pull him to the ground under the basket. Draymond Green grabbed onto Beal, but threw no punches, and it looked like he was grabbing him in pure self defense, and Draymond already had a technical from earlier in the game. While the two were wrestling under the hoop, Kelly Oubre came into the fray and was throwing punches that hit Klay Thompson. Beal and Green were both ejected from the game, even though Draymond didn’t do anything wrong. Beal was harassed by fans on his way up the tunnel, as he should have been. Surprisingly, Kelly Oubre received no fouls from his punches. The Wizards led at halftime with a score of 64-53. The real question heading into the second half is: How will the team respond to the ejection of Draymond Green, and will the energy in the crowd and on the court after the fight lead to them heating up from three-point range?
The third quarter saw the Warriors build some momentum towards the end, and cut the lead to 10 points, but the Wizards were able to stay hot. Washington shot 54% from beyond the arc through the third quarter. Klay Thompson found himself in early foul trouble, but this opened the door for Omri Casspi to get some minutes, and he was able to make an impact, scoring five points off the bench. Kevin Durant got hot in the third as well, and ended the quarter with 21 points, and Steph was close behind Durant after hitting two threes to end the quarter with 20 points. After the third quarter, the score was 97-87.
The fourth quarter was absurd. The Warriors came back from being down 10 points, to win the game 120-117. The Warriors were aided by three incredible performances off of the bench, from David West, Omri Casspi, and Kevon Looney. David West was remarkable, scoring 16 points on 8/9 shooting, and was especially hot in the fourth quarter. Omri Casspi played some great minutes off the bench as well, scoring 8 points including a late three to help get the momentum going for the Warriors in the fourth quarter. Kevon Looney threw down some monster jams in the final quarter which made Oracle Arena go absolutely insane. Before the game, Steve Kerr received some harsh criticism for having Jordan Bell inactive while Kevon Looney was active, but it all played out the way that Kerr intended. The Warriors rallied back from an 18-point deficit to beat the Wizards, 120-117.
Some notable stats from the game came from Kevin Durant, who scored 31 points while grabbing 11 rebounds. Klay Thompson scored 18 points and raised $18,000 for charity in the process. Stephen Curry didn’t have a great game, but still scored 20 points while dishing out 8 assists. The Warriors bench scored 44 points, 16 of which came from David West. Unfortunately, the turnover problem reared its ugly head again, as the team turned the ball over 17 times, several of which came in the last four minutes of the fourth quarter.
Overall, my takeaway from this game is that the Warriors showed toughness, and resilience, which is good for a team to show at any time, but showing this in October is a great sign of things to come. The Warriors have had to come back in several games, and overcome many obstacles, and they have, they have been able to overcome adversity. Today was especially important because they have always struggled without Draymond Green, but they were able to overcome his ejection and play with the heart and emotion that Green normally provides them with.
The Warriors play their next game in Los Angeles against the Clippers on Monday, October 30, at 7:30 p.m.