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Warriors bounce back in D.C., defeat Wizards, 127-118


PhilBoxing.com




Steph Curry is back in form, scoring 41 points, 7 rebounds and 2 assists, with Jordan Poole adding 32, as the dynamic duo powered Golden State past the Washington Wizards, 127-118, on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day at the nation’s capital.

Curry and Poole incited each other, attacking the rim from near and afar, scoring more than half of the Warriors’ total output with 73 points, including 13 treys. Poole dropped 26 points in the first half, 23 of which were in the second quarter.

On his fourth game back from a left shoulder subluxation, a revitalized Curry caught fire in the fourth quarter, draining a deep trey with 2 minutes left. Not to be outdone, Poole nailed another 3-pointer to push Golden State ahead for good by 9 points.

As a team, Golden State had to dig deep in their armamentarium to prevent another game from slipping away, making 45-of -91 baskets (49.5% FG) and 18-of-44 treys (40.9% 3-PT), controlled both boards with more rebounds (43 to 36), had an edge in steals (8 to 7), and was less erratic turning the ball over lesser than usual (12 to 14), and led by as much as 11 points in a tug-of-war with Washington. More importantly, they were back zipping away with more fast break points, 20 to 10.

It was another all-around team effort with six Warriors posting double-figures on their way to victory— Draymond Green had 17 points (6r/10a/3s) , Andrew Wiggins 14p/3r/4a, Donte DiVincenzo - 11p/5r/3a, Anthony Lamb - 10p/5r/1a, and Kevon Looney only had 2 points but made a tremendous impact with 9 gut-busting rebounds, 3 assists and 1 steal. The scoreless Ty Jerome had 1 rebound, 2 dishes and 2 steals that kept GSW within striking distance, at key moments.

Coach Steve Kerr withheld Klay Thompson who will be needed for their upcoming games against the vaunted Boston Celtics on Thursday and Cleveland Cavaliers on Friday. Jonathan Kuminga and James Wiseman are still nursing their feet and Andre Iguodala his hip (again).



By contrast, Washington kept up shot-for-shot and did not go away easily by making 42-of-86 baskets (48.8% FG), 14-of-35 treys (40% 3-PT), attacked the basket and scored more in the paint (46 to 36), had an edge in blocks (2 to 1), and briefly led by as much as 9 points.

For 3 quarters, the Wizards guarded the rim assertively and controlled the painted area, influencing the Warriors to kick out and improvise from the perimeter.

The Wizards were ahead by 8 points early in the fourth quarter, but they left the back door open, as the Warriors marched back in, with Curry scoring back-to-back baskets pushing Golden State ahead, 110-106, with 5:07 left.

The Wizards were still at an arm’s length away before the Warriors sealed the win in the last 60 seconds of a competitive game that featured 12 ties and 12 lead changes.

Every player for Washington scored as a tight unit but fell just short of victory, perhaps missing M.I.A. guard Bradley Emmanuel Beal, Sr. who is out with an injury.

Kristaps Porzingis led with 32, followed by M. Morris with 17, Kyle Zuma and Japanese player Rui Hachimura with 16 apiece, D. Gafford 14, D. Wright 9, D. Avdija 6, and J. Goodwin 3 points.

Interestingly, the Warriors relished in the home crowd’s switch of allegiance and kept up the pressure on the Wizards who faltered late and sent Curry to the foul line, with just 28 seconds. In between free throws, Curry, the topnotcher in the most recent All-star poll, could not help but smile as “M-V-P” cheers emanated from the stands.

On Tuesday, Golden State, now 22-22 overall and 4-17 on the road, is scheduled to visit the White House to show President Joe Biden their 2022 NBA title and Larry O’Brien championship trophy.



Upcoming:

Golden State Warriors (22-22): Visit the Boston Celtics (33-12) on Wednesday.

Washington Wizards (18-26): Visit New York Knicks (25-20) on Wednesday.

Note of Appreciation:
Photos, stats and video are courtesy of the NBA and brought to you by PhilBoxing.com.


Click here to view a list of other articles written by Emmanuel Rivera, RRT.


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