Stephen Curry probably is the best point guard in the NBA, but John Wall did everything to prove that he at least belongs in the conversation after Wednesday's shootout at Verizon Center won 134-121 by the Golden State Warriors.
Curry scored 36 of his game-high 51 points in the first half as the Warriors (45-4) won for the eight time in a row. He made 19 of 28 shots. Klay Thompson (24 points), Draymond Green (12 points, 10 rebounds, 12 assists) and Harrison Barnes (12) were the other double-figure scorers.
Wall did his best to keep up in setting a season high (41 points) and getting his 26th double-double of the season (10 assists) despite foul trouble. He made 17 of 25 shots.
The Wizards (21-26), playing for the second game in a row without coach Randy Wittman who is away on personal leave because of a death in the family, did a lot of things well for interim coach Don Newman.
Bradley Beal (18 points), Ramon Sessions (12 points), Nene (12 points, seven rebounds) off the bench.
- When Wall picked up his fourth foul with 6:18 left in the third quarter, the pace came out of the game. The Wizards got the score down to 81-79 and 86-84 but quickly saw it balloon back to double-digits. They did plenty of things correct but playing from behind wore them down as Thompson's three three-point shots in the fourth closed the door.
- Despite all of Curry's greatness he has one fatal flaw and that's turnovers. He had seven by the midway point of the third quarter, a product of trapping him to get the ball out of his hand sooner, which allowed the Wizards to get out in transition and score easy baskets. Golden State had 18 that led to 24 points. Wall only had three turnovers.
- The Warriors played through the mismatches they had with the 6-7 Shaun Livingston to sustain them in the fourth quarter, with Curry on the bench. Livingston made all four of his shots Golden State for eight of his nine points.
- The Wizards made their size work with Nene and Gortat. Nene went to the foul line eight times in the third quarter alone because of his work on the offensive glass, after Andrew Bogut went out with his fourth foul at 9:09. Gortat was able to get finishes at the rim off bounce passes from Wall on the pick-and-roll when Golden State's trap failed.
- Otto Porter posted just nine points, three rebounds and two assists in 32 minutes. They can't win games like this kind of production from their starting small forward. None of Wizards' starters outside of Wall finished in double figures. Newman wisely went away from Dudley, who fell into foul trouble and was a matchup problem.