The Warriors had a full squad, although Briante Weber had been released two days prior, presumably to make room for Jose Calderon, and Damian Jones was on assignment in Santa Cruz.
The Wizards were without Danuel House (wrist) and Daniel Ochefu (illness).
Q1: Durant Down
Within the first minute, Kevin Durant went down with a hyper-extended left knee injury, which would require an MRI, after Marcin Gortat threw down Zaza Pachulia and Pachulia’s head hit Durant’s knee:
With Durant out, the Warriors got off to a rocky start as the Wizards jumped out to a 13-4 lead. Bradley Beal was hot early…
…but Klay Thompson responded with a couple buckets and with 5:49 remaining, Washington was up, 22-14.
With Durant in the back of their minds, the Warriors had trouble hitting on offense, back-pedaling against the speediness of John Wall…
…and were porous on defense:
To make matters worse, Stephen Curry still couldn’t hit a three after going 0-for-11 last night, and was saddled with two fouls.
At the end of the opening frame, the Wizards held a 40-26 lead.
Q2: Some Momentum
It was much of the same even as Warriors head coach Steve Kerr brought in the second unit to shake things up.
David West did well with a couple of buckets inside, but was called for another offensive foul, something the referees seemed to look for against the Warriors, rather than letting them play.
Later, Shaun Livingston managed to hit two straight layups, one fed by Andre Iguodala and the other by Draymond Green…
…then Green slammed home a finish after getting a steal down low, and the Warriors had the Wizards lead down to eleven, 51-40, approaching four minutes to play.
Curry came back in after a long rest, and he hit two free throws, got a right-baseline layup, and took a charge on Beal, but an Otto Porter jumper and a Wall laser alley-oop to Gortat pushed the Washington lead back to 61-44 before Thompson stuck a three from the right arc.
Iguodala then stole the ball and got a two-hand smash at the other end from Steph, and the Warriors limped into halftime with a 12-point deficit at 61-49.
(Photo: @letsgowarriors Instagram account via @darinatwater)