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Stephen Curry tweaks ankle, Warriors eke out victory

The Golden State Warriors battled through a Curry injury and turnover issues but beat the Washington Wizards 101-97 on the latter end of a back-to-back.

Don't land on a stray ankle!
Don't land on a stray ankle!

Stephen Curry got hurt but finished the game.

Going to leave that there so we know it's all okay. Just keep telling yourself that.

The Golden State Warriors have lost seven times this season; four of which were acceptable, including one against Denver a blown opportunity that they've avenged since. The other two were losses coming off big wins; one against the Sacramento Kings after they beat the Los Angeles Clippers and the other to the Orlando Magic after a big three-game winning streak.

So naturally, Dubs fans were in store for a letdown against the Washington Wizards after beating the Brooklyn Nets (for the second time this season) the night before, right? Well, sort of. Not really. I'm not exactly sure.

For one thing, Cartier Martin had 14 at halftime. Remember him?! Man, I really tried not to talk about Andrew Bogut in the midst of an epic 3-0 start to a seven-game road trip. He even had his ankles, knees and face intact on that dunk! We can only hope.

Anyways, Jordan Crawford, a player built in the mold of Corey Maggette and Monta Ellis (non-stop shooting) somehow had eight assists. And yeah, Stephen Curry hurt his ankle again. Not the surgically-repaired one but who the hell cares? CURRY HURT THIS ANKLE! AHFSGDB.

Stephen Curry got hurt but finished the game.

Somehow the Warriors won despite Bradley Beal missing a wide-open layup after missing the latter half of a pair of free throws. He probably jumped in early or Festus Ezeli got a hand on the ball. Matters not.

They keep grinding along games and most importantly, keep winning. Even if this one was as ugly as it could get.

I'm also a bit confused about all this talk of a trap game. The Warriors know that they've been a lottery team for the better half of two decades, right? Letdowns are for teams that overlook inferior opponents because they know they can turn the switch on anytime they want. For a team that has lost already to the Sacramento Kings and Orlando Magic while fighting for a playoff spot and basketball relevance, I don't really see a trap game here. The Warriors just played bad basketball tonight. Happens. And they won. That's been happening quite a bit lately as well.

It's still hard to see the Warriors make the postseason with the roster the way it is. But the Warriors are winning games that they are struggling through right now. That's good. With or without Andrew Bogut.


Here at the Golden State of Mind and many other sites that discuss everything Warriors, David Lee is a bit of an easy guy to pick on because of his inability to play defense. Throw in the constant, near comical, backing by Mark Jackson and owners Peter Guber and Joe Lacob, and you can see why.

But man has he played well in the past three wins. And the season, for that matter.

74 points, 43 rebounds, 54 FG% and a newborn knack at hitting the clutch shot has endeared himself to even his harshest fans, including yours truly.

A splendid stretch for what is becoming a hallmark season for David Lee. He isn't quite LaMarcus Aldrige, Blake Griffin, Kevin Love or Pau Gasol but he's damned good.

Three Observations:

1. Like they did in the game against the Brooklyn Nets, Coach Mark Jackson decided to start the game with a post-up feed to Festus Ezeli. Immediate flashbacks to the Oklahoma City Thunder doing that in every single playoff game last year. And with the same disappointing result, no less. I'm not sure what Jackson wants Ezeli to do because he leaves him in for a good five-minute stretch and takes him out for the remainder of the half. I get that the small-ball lineups are working, especially if you just look at final score as a barometer, but there has to be some sort of defensive presence down low.

To go along with Jackson's coaching today, Harrison Barnes has had a very quiet stretch of games in the past week. Midway through the first quarter, he got his isolation touches and had a nice pass to a wide-open Curry for a 3 and Lee for a layup. But besides that, he was essentially floating through this game. I've said it before but it'd be nice to get him a couple baskets to open up new dimensions in the offense, especially in the half-court where they can struggle.

2. The Wizards' best defense tonight was essentially leaving the Warriors wide-open shots and hoping that they'd miss or make a sloppy pass. Both happened, over and over again. The Warriors shot 43.1% from the field and had 19 turnovers, with Curry handing out four of them. He had a combined six in his past three games.

But Curry and company got the victory mostly because of the way they were able to outrebound the Wizards, 57-37. It just reinforces the notion that hustle and determination is a deciding factor in a lot of rebounding battles. I'll take my chances with players like Draymond Green, Lee, Landry and even Curry.

Stephen Curry got hurt but finished the game.

3. The Warriors bench has been tremendous the past couple games as Jackson's leash has gotten longer and longer. We're counting Carl Landry as part of the bench even though he plays all of Ezeli's minutes yeah? Let's do that for the sake of this conversation.

Also, doesn't it seem like Charles Jenkins makes the most long twos in all of basketball history? Well, look what I found! Per 40 minutes a game, Jenkins owns the fourth-most attempts from 16-23 feet, coming in at 9.3 shots. He played 15 strong minutes tonight in establishing himself as a nice backup guard. As Jackson's rotations get smaller and smaller size-wise, Jenkins will find more minutes and the chance to produce.

Play of the game belonged to Draymond Green when he drove to the bucket with just under three minutes left, tossed it off the backboard intentionally (or not, whatever), grabbed the offensive board and with his body nearly parallel to the ground, flicked a no-look pass to Klay Thompson in the corner while the shot clock went down to two seconds. Needless to say, Thompson tossed the three in and the Dubs had a six-point lead in a game that had started to slip away from them.

Stephen Curry got hurt but he finished the game.

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