Despite Bradley Beal’s big night, Wizards fall to depleted Warriors
In a matchup that seemed to bode well for the home team to edge its home record past the .500 mark, the Washington Wizards (17-32) met a Golden State Warriors (12-39) team missing Stephen Curry, nursing a hand injury, and D’Angelo Russell, with a bad quadriceps. The return of forward Rui Hachimura from a groin injury had been anticipated since his activation Saturday night against Brooklyn. With Washington standing at fourth in the Association in points per game, all signs seemed to point to “score”.
The Wizards kept it close through the first quarter, but with 5:52 left Damion Lee put Golden State up by five points. The Wizards edged closer, first on a Thomas Bryant dunk with 1:13 left, and a long three-pointer by Davis Bertans with half a minute left.
Golden State came out strong for the second quarter, opening up an 11-point lead within three minutes, and four minutes later, Davis Bertans and Draymond Green traded three-pointers, and a layup by Moritz Wagner brought the Wizards to within two. Bradley Beal’s jumper at 1:21 put the Wizards just one behind, but after a run by Golden State, the Warriors ended the half up 72-63.
Rui Hachimura started to get his sea legs back in the third quarter, even as the Warriors rained shots, often from behind the arc, opening up a 15-point lead five minutes into the half–which they extended to 19 before the Wizards bench mercifully called a timeout, and Washington gained six by the end of the quarter for a 99-86 tally.
Moritz Wagner came on strong to begin the fourth, with a layup and a dunk two minutes in — and while a Bradley Beal free through brought Washington to within 109-100 with seven and a half minutes left, a Glenn Robinson jumper brought Golden State’s lead back to 11 with six minutes left.
But a Draymond Green foul on Beal ignited a hopeful rally, with Beal making two shots and then a 29-foot three pointer with just under 4 and a half minutes left in the game. Steve Kerr’s bench tried to ice it with a time out–and your Wizards couldn’t catch up, ending up on the short end of a 125-117 result despite a monster 43-point effort from Bradley Beal. Washington will try to start a new winning streak Friday night, when the Dallas Mavericks visit.