Washington, D.C — Exactly three months after their 22-point whooping, the Washington Wizards were hoping to exact revenge on the Golden State Warriors for their home fans at the Capitol One Arena.
However, they didn’t count on the hot hand of one Wardell Stephen Curry, otherwise known as Steph Curry. Behind a dominant 38-point performance (including a perfect 8-of-8 from the free throw line), Curry and the Warriors (34-14) survived a close scare from the Wizards (20-27) for a 126-118 win on Thursday night.
With their outside shooting being a total mess in the first quarter (1-of-6 from outside the arc), the Warriors decided to go hard in the paint. The teams went back and forth throughout the quarter, but at the end of the first the Warriors ultimately left the court with a 37-28 lead.
The second quarter started more like the Warriors are used to. Draymond Green started with a layup, followed by a jumper from Andre Igoudala which was capped by a long three from the team’s newest addition, DeMarcus Cousins. The Wizards, however, were not going to just lay down.
Behind the unlikely duo of Trevor Ariza and Tomas Satoransky, the Wizards matched the Warriors shot for shot as they outscored Golden State 31-30 in the second. That wasn’t enough to get them ahead, though. Going into halftime, the home team trailed 67-59.
At the beginning of the third quarter, the Wizards started off hot. Ariza scored the first points of the second half with a quick jumper, then Thomas Bryant made a 26-foot three-pointer just seconds after. The Wizards were on an 8-4 run within the first two minutes of the quarter.
Then the Warriors got serious.
After the Wizards closed within six points, the Warriors went on an 8-0 run to expand their lead to 83-69. The Wizards kept coming at them, with Bradley Beal making a pullup three, then Bryant making a pair of shots. Toward the end of the quarter, the Warriors went berzerk, making 11 of their last 12 baskets inside the arc including a statement alley-oop from Green to Kevin Durant with 15 seconds to go. Going into the final frame, the Warriors held a commanding 104-92 lead.
With only twelve minutes standing between the Wizards and victory, they quickly went to work. In the first four minutes, the team went on a 14-6 run, led by Chasson Randle. Randle scored seven of those points himself to bring the Wizards within two (108-106).
This is where the Warriors’ bench came to life. At the 6:50 mark, Shaun Livingston made a pair of free throws, followed by a pair of dunks from Alfonso McKinnie and Kevon Looney to put the Warriors back up 114-106. While both teams scored 12 points apiece the rest of the way, Washington wasn’t able to fight their was back to victory.
Curry led all scorers with 38 points, while Trevor Ariza led the Wizards with 27 points (he also was a perfect 6-of-6 from the free throw line). The Warriors destroyed the Wizards in the paint, scoring a season-high 70 points to the Wizards’ 48. They also out-rebounded Washington 50-36.
With the win, the Warriors have won a season-high nine in a row, which will serve them well as they continue to integrate DeMarcus Cousins into the lineup. The Warriors continue their East Coast trip with a Saturday night game against the Boston Celtics, while the Wizards will travel to Orlando for a Friday night match-up with the Magic.