There was a little bad, and a whole lot of good as the Golden State Warriors beat the Washington Wizards 126-118, securing their ninth consecutive victory, and ensuring that they’ll go home with a winning road trip.
The good was more noticeable, more fun, and on display immediately. More so than in Los Angeles, the team seemed to click around their newest All-Star, DeMarcus Cousins. The offense was flowing, to the tune of 37 points in the first quarter. The ball was flitting around the perimeter, darting in and out of the paint, and always finding the open man. It was a dissertation on passing.
It set the tone for the game. The Dubs finished with 34 assists, with 68% of their buckets coming via assists. James Harden they were not.
But the second unit had trouble maintaining the lead. After opening up a big lead in the first and early in the second, the Warriors let the Wizards narrow the gap in the later stages of the second frame. And then the same thing happened in the second half, with Washington getting dangerously close after the Warriors blew a comfortable double-digit lead.
Washington deserves credit, but Golden State’s bench unit had issues. Klay Thompson struggled to score, with just 9 points on 4-13 shooting, though he did have 5 assists. And while Cousins had a highly encouraging game, finishing with 17 points on 8-12 shooting, with 6 rebounds and 3 assists, he looked less comfortable in the minutes where Steph Curry and Kevin Durant were watching from the bench.
But in those minutes where Curry and Durant, newly minted 2019 All-Star starters were on the floor, things were dynamic. Despite only making two triples, Curry controlled the offense, with 38 points on 14-24 shooting.
Durant was highly calculated and efficient, cutting with sharpness and finishing with a brilliant all-around line: 21 points on 9-18 shooting, 2 rebounds, 5 assists, 2 steals, and 3 blocks.
And while the Wizards made Steve Kerr sweat a little more than he wanted to, it was the vintage Warriors basketball that ultimately hammered the nail in the coffin.
The Dubs will go for ten-straight wins on Saturday against the Boston Celtics. That should be a good one.