WASHINGTON – After a four-point first half that was shocking by his recent standards, Stephen Curry faked out Alex Len and tried a wide-open floater from the lane that clanked off the rim. He slapped his hands in frustration as he ran down the court.
A minute later, he tried another floater that Len swatted away.
Coming off a historic run in which he made 78 3-pointers, the most in any 11-game stretch in NBA history, Curry was bound to have a bad night eventually, and it happened Wednesday night as the Golden State Warriors closed out a five-game trip with a 118-114 loss at Washington.
Guarded primarily by Russell Westbrook, Curry was frigid early and cooled off again late, and Bradley Beal rallied the Wizards to their season-best sixth straight victory as Washington welcomed back fans for the first time in more than a year.
Curry, who came in having overtaken Beal for the NBA scoring lead, had 18 points on 7-of-25 shooting, including 2 of 14 on 3s. He hadn't scored fewer than 32 points in a game since March 17.
“It was a great run. It was something that hadn’t been done before, and it was going to end at some point,” Curry said. “Now you’ve got to start another one.”
Beal scored 29 points as the glamorous matchup with Curry mostly fizzled until Washington rallied from 11 points down in the fourth quarter. He pounded his chest after scoring on a drive with 2:44 left and drawing a sixth foul on Draymond Green. Beal converted the three-point play to bring Washington within one, and he found Davis Bertans for a 3-pointer that put the Wizards ahead for good with 2 minutes remaining.
Westbrook had 14 points, a season-high 20 rebounds and 10 assists. The triple-double was his 27th of the season and 173rd of his career, second to Oscar Robertson’s 181, but coach Scott Brooks was more thankful for Westbrook's defense.
“That's the thing that Russell probably won't get a lot of credit for, but he did a great job of guarding him, putting pressure on him, making him take tough shots. It wears him out,” Brooks said. “Every now and then, an amazing player like Steph will have an off game, and a lot to do with it was Russell.”
Kelly Oubre Jr. led Golden State with 24 points in his second game at Washington, and first with the Warriors, since the Wizards traded him to Phoenix in December of 2018. Jordan Poole added 22 points and hit back-to-back 3-pointers midway through the fourth quarter that put the Warriors up by 11.
Curry started 2 for 13 from the floor and 0 for 7 from 3-point range before he made a layup and a 3 in a 21-second span to get Golden State rolling midway through the third quarter. But he wasn't consistent enough to hold off Beal and Westbrook late. His final 3-point attempt from straight away with 1:17 left wasn't even close.
Fighting for a Western Conference playoff spot, the Warriors went 3-2 on their trip, also losing a close game at Boston despite 47 points from Curry.
“I think it could have easily been a 5-0 trip, but yeah, tonight we definitely lost a game we should have won," Green said. “That's never good.”
The Wizards lost rookie Deni Avdija to a scary-looking right ankle injury late in the first half. The 20-year-old from Israel lay on the floor for several minutes before being taken off in a wheelchair. The Wizards did not provide any detail on the injury after the game, but Brooks would not rule out Avdija returning this season.
Reserve center Daniel Gafford had his best game for the Wizards since he was acquired in a trade with Chicago, finishing with 19 points and 10 rebounds. Bertans also scored 19 points and Raul Neto had 18.
The District of Columbia agreed last week to allow 10% capacity at Capital One Arena, which equates to 2,100 per game.
Half the seats in the lower bowl remained covered by blue plastic and masked fans were sprinkled throughout all levels. Among those in attendance were 100 invited front-line health workers. The game hosts and dancers entertained fans virtually, and the national anthem was prerecorded.
Beal took a microphone at half court to thank the fans before tipoff.
Warriors: F Juan Toscano-Anderson remains in the NBA's concussion protocol. He suffered the injury and a head laceration when he tumbled over the scorer's table while diving to save a loose ball in Saturday's loss at Boston. Toscano-Anderson required more than 30 stitches, coach Steve Kerr said. ... G Damion Lee sat Wednesday after Philadelphia's Joel Embiid stepped on his left foot Monday night. Lee cracked his big toenail “and he's been in a lot of pain,” Kerr said. ... Andrew Wiggins reached 10,000 points, the first player born in Canada to hit that milestone. Canada's Steve Nash, with 17,387 points, was born in South Africa.
Wizards: F Rui Hachimura sat for the second consecutive game with a sore left knee. He remains day to day, Brooks said.
Warriors: Play nine of their final 13 games at home, starting Friday night against Denver.
Wizards: At Oklahoma City on Friday night. Washington beat the Thunder at home on Monday.
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