Golden State’s game plan on Friday night was simple: force the ball away from Bradley Beal.
The Warriors had success with that strategy for most of the first half. However, star players like D.C.’s No. 3 do not simply go down without a fight.
Despite shooting 4-for-12 from the field heading into the fourth, Brad caught fire for the Wizards (19-32) in the final four minutes of the game, scoring 10 points in that span and leading his team to a 110-107 win over the Warriors (24-28). He capped his night with a spectacular game-winning four-point play with 6.1 seconds left to give the Wizards the lead.
“You have a bad game and things aren’t going your way, you always want something to uplift you,” Brad said. “That was the moment for me. It definitely boosted some confidence for me.”
After an 8-0 run sparked by four straight points from Steph Curry, the Warriors led by three with 19 seconds left to go. While a stop could have won the Warriors the game, they were instead subjected to one of BB’s finest moments of the season when he picked up a long rebound and drove to the left corner to launch a game-tying 3-point attempt. Not only did No. 3 sink it, but he took contact to the head in the process, setting up a free throw that gave the Wizards the lead for good.
The Wizards have now won two straight games while the Warriors have lost four of their last five.
While the Warriors focused on defending Brad for most of the game, the rest of the Wizards stepped up in a major way to keep Washington in the game. Russell Westbrook finished with yet another triple-double (his 21st of the season) with 19 points, 14 assists and 14 rebounds. Second-year forward Rui Hachimura also made a big impact, shooting an efficient 9-of-16 from the field for 22 points.
The Wiz held the lead for the entire first half of the game, but the momentum started to turn in the Warriors’ favor when back-to-back threes from Kelly Oubre Jr. put Golden State up 73-70 with 5:50 left in the third quarter.
From there, it became a back-and-forth affair, with seven lead changes and four ties as Beal, Hachimura and Westbrook accounted for 23 of Washington’s 25 fourth quarter points.
A nifty reverse layup from Curry in traffic gave the Warriors a 105-104 lead with 33 seconds left, and while he did hit two free throws on the next possession to make it a three-point game, it was Beal’s game-winner that would be the play of the game.
The Wizards will be riding high from this victory, but they’ll have to quickly regroup and focus on the next game as they get set to travel to Phoenix to take on the scorching hot Suns on Saturday, April 10 at 10:00 p.m. The game will air on NBC Sports Washington.