What a game, eh?
After losing to the lowly Utah Jazz, the Washington Wizards were looking ahead to a tough 5-game stretch against some of the best western conference teams in the league. It began tonight against Stephen Curry and the Golden State Warriors, and I honestly didn’t see how the Wizards could pull off the upset, especially since they dropped a game to them at home just a few weeks ago. It wasn’t pretty, but the Wizards managed to do enough to get another road victory against the very tough Golden State Warriors.
Stephen Curry has been one of the best guards in the entire league this season, but John Wall managed to keep him under control for much of the game. Curry scored just 23 points on 8 for 23 shooting from the field, and Wall couldn’t have done a better job at preventing him from going off tonight. Curry took a left hand shot underhanded from 3 on Golden State’s final possession. That’s good defense. When John Wall is locked in, he’s easily one of the best defensive point guards in the NBA, and needless to say, he was locked in tonight. Wall struggled offensively, scoring 15 points on just 6 for 19 shooting, but he certainly made up for it with his defense. Whenever it seemed like the Warriors were going to regain the lead, John Wall made a crucial stop on Curry. Wall forced a turnover late in the fourth quarter and knocked down the most important shot of the game, an open 3-point shot that ultimately gave Washington the lead, 88-85. Wall had been struggling all night offensively, but he didn’t hesitate to shoot from the outside down the stretch. It was an absolutely masterful performance from John Wall defensively.
Bradley Beal wasn’t too shabby on either side of the floor. He held Klay Thompson to just 5 for 17 shooting, granted a lot of his missed shots were open, and it eventually went on to catch up to Golden Sate. Beal, who’s still on a minutes restriction, scored 9 straight points for Washington in the 3rd quarter and gave them momentum for the remainder of the game. Beal scored 20 points to go along side 7 rebounds and 4 assists. Beal has hit big shots all season long and he didn’t disappoint tonight.
Washington’s backcourt outplayed Golden State’s, which was really surprising considering how inconsistent both Wall and Beal have been this season. Simply put, their defense led the way tonight and that needs to continue. Marcin Gortat missed some of the easiest shots he’s going to get, which could’ve effected the outcome of the game, but the team’s defense stepped up and secured the win. Nene outplayed David Lee, who finished the game with just 11 points on 2-10 shooting, and it seemed like the Wizards were going to play through that match up early on. It wasn’t a pretty win by any means, but holding the Warriors to just 85 points given the amount of offensive talent they possess is remarkable. Curry and Thompson combined for just 13 of 40 from the field.
I can’t credit Washington’s willingness to compete tonight enough. Even though it looked like the outcome of the game was going to change during multiple runs, the Wizards were resilient enough to pull through. The Wizards are .500 once again, and will be back at it tomorrow night against the Los Angeles Clippers and will surely have some momentum on their side.
I hope you stayed up late for tonight’s game. It was a good one, to say the least.