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Back to the future: Warriors vs. Wizards

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How did Golden State do with their keys to victory against Washington?

Golden State Warriors v Washington Wizards Photo by Will Newton/Getty Images

For the second time in recent memory, the Golden State Warriors suffered a deflating collapse against the Washington Wizards, and lost a game in the final minutes that they felt they should have won.

This time was, admittedly, more encouraging, in part because of how well the Warriors have been playing lately, and in part because of how good of a performance they put together despite a rare off night from Steph Curry.

So let’s revisit their keys to victory from my preview and see how they did with them.

Chef Curry

The key: Another “Steph Curry is the best player in the NBA” performance.

The outcome: For the first time in what feels like forever, Steph Curry did not have a great game. He had an awful start that was full of turnovers, and never really found his rhythm. His shot was off all night, and he made more sloppy plays than we’re used to seeing from him.

The final line was 18 points on 7-for-25 shooting and 2-for-14 from distance, with 7 rebounds, 8 assists, and 6 turnovers.

If he had merely an off night (by his standards), the Warriors would have won comfortably. Instead he had perhaps his worst game of the season, and the team couldn’t quite overcome it.

Grading the key: 0.5 out of 10.

Choose Washington’s guards wisely

The key: Make Russell Westbrook, not Bradley Beal, beat you.

The outcome: They kind of did this, though it did not work quite as well as I had envisioned.

Westbrook took almost as many shots as Beal, and given their efficiency discrepancies, that’s what you want to happen. But Beal did end up with 29 points on 8-for-21 shooting, compared to 14 points on 5-for-17 shooting for Westbrook. However, Westbrook added 20 rebounds and 10 assists (and 9 turnovers!), and was the best player on the court down the stretch.

Solid enough plan though, and props to Andrew Wiggins for some sensational defense on Beal.

Grading the key: 6.5 out of 10.

Limit easy buckets

The key: Keep the Wizards from having easy shots at the rim and the foul line.

The outcome: The Wizards attempted 38 free throws. Let me say that again: the Wizards attempted 38 free throws. For reference, the league average is 21.8.

As for easy shots at the rim? Well, let me just leave this here.

Welp.

Grading the key: 0.5 out of 10.

And all that spoils lovely performances by Kelly Oubre Jr., Kent Bazemore, and Jordan Poole.