True to form, after a disappointing showing against a losing team in the Utah Jazz in the previous game, the Wizards came through to knock off the Golden State Warriors at Oracle Arena late Tuesday night. The Wizards (22-22) are back at .500 for the seventh time this season and are 2-1 on this four-game West coast road trip.
Unlike the last time, when the Warriors went on a 30-5 run to start the third quarter to rout the Wizards earlier this month at Verizon Center, this was nip and tuck all the way.
The Wizards ended a six-game losing streak to Golden State (27-19) in a game had eight ties and eight lead changes.
The young backcourt matchup of Washington's John Wall and Bradley Beal vs. Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson didn't materialize quite as expected. They combined for 20 of the game's 37 turnovers and shot 27-for-78, but it was a three-pointer by least likely of the group, Wall, with 1:28 left to break an 85-85 tie for the final points.
Wall's defense was a difference-maker down the stretch, too. He fought over three screens by center Andew Bogut to deflect a pass from Curry that led to Trevor Ariza's breakaway layup for an 85-80 lead at 5:05. After the Warriors tied it on a three from Curry and a layup by David Lee, Ariza grabbed an offensive rebound on a missed shot by Beal to feed Wall as he stepped into the winning shot atop the three-point arc.
Wall finished with 15 points on 6 of 19 shooting, eight rebounds, five assists and three steals. Beal led the Wizards with 20 points on 8 of 19, seven rebounds and four assists. He didn't make his first field goal until the last minute of the second quarter and scored the rest of his 18 points in the second half. Nene began by making his first five field goals and he ended 7-for-15 for 16 points, seven rebounds, two assists and a block. Martell Webster had 10 points, Ariza nine points, 11 rebounds and three steals, and Marcin Gortat eight points and 12 rebounds.
Golden State missed their last three shots, all from three-point range.
Turning point: With the Wizards back ahead 66-65 entering the fourth, Beal hit the first three shots -- all three-pointers -- for a 72-65 lead to establish a much-needed cushion for the stretch run.
Key stats: The Wizards were more efficient beyond the three-point arc, hitting 10 of 22, 45.5%, compared with 7-for-23 by the Warriors for 30.4%. Curry and Thompson were 5-for-16 while Wall and Beal shot 7-for-13. ... Wall and Beal didn't attempt a free throw. Golden State packed the lane to take away drives to the basket with Bogut and Lee.
Lineup shifts: PG Eric Maynor hadn't made an appearance in nine games, but he got on the floor for seven minutes in the first half ahead of Garrett Temple. Maynor, however, wasn't productive as he failed to score and shot 0-for-2. He did log an assist. Temple subbed late in the third and put in valuable minutes in the fourth quarter to give Wall needed rest. In six minutes he shot 1-for-2 for two points, four rebounds and two assists. ... Otto Porter, Kevin Seraphin, Jan Vesely and Chris Singleton did not play.
From the locker room: "We covered the three-point line the last two possessions as well as you can. It wasn't a pretty game by either team I'm sure offensively. But these are the kind of games our defense can win for us when we shoot 37 percent." -- Wizards coach Randy Wittman
Up next: The Wizards left immediately after the game for Los Angeles, where they'll play the Clippers on Wednesday (CSN, 10:30 p.m. ET).