The advertised shootout featuring Stephen Curry and Bradley Beal, the No. 1 and No. 2 scorers in the NBA, never quite materialized Wednesday night.
And it hurt the Warriors. So close to achieving the desired result, they lost an 11-point lead over the final six minutes and trudged out of Capital One Center in Washington, D.C. with a 118-114 loss to Wizards.
Curry finished with 18 points, ending his streak of 30-point games at a record 11, while Beal totaled 29 to lead the Wizards. Curry maintained a slight lead in the scoring derby.
Here are three observations from a game that kept the Warriors (29-30) from climbing back over .500 for the first time since March 22:
The Steph Show
A nightmarish first half, with four points on 2-of-11 shooting and five turnovers, continued in the second half. It was reasonable to wonder if this would be the night that Curry rejoined the human race.
It was, as the second half was not much better.
Seeing frequent double-teams, Curry shot 7-of-25 from the field, including 2-of-14 from beyond the arc. He had eight assists and seven rebounds but also committed six turnovers. He was a team-worst minus-23 over 36 minutes.
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This was Curry’s first game under 30 points since he totaled 18 on March 17.
Beal won the war, so to speak, and also the battle despite shooting only 8-of-21 and 2-of-6 from distance.
Oubre brings the heat
After missing five games with a sprained left (shooting) wrist, Oubre shook off some rust Monday at Philadelphia and brought his best tools on this night.
Oubre, facing the team that acquired him on draft night in 2015, was active and disruptive on defense and also highly productive on offense. After an effective six minutes in the first quarter, he opened the second and played all 12 minutes.
With the Warriors trailing 38-20 after one quarter, Oubre was the driving force behind a 20-1 run that took less than five minutes and pulled them into a 44-44 tie with 5:38 left in the half. He scored 18 of his team-high 24 points in 18 first-half minutes.
After such a sluggish first quarter, the Warriors needed a burst and Oubre was the catalyst. His shooting wrist seems to be fully recovered.
Second unit groove
The second unit has been so consistently productive that a positive pattern has developed. They wipe out inherited deficits and expand inherited leads.
The Comeback Crew, led by Poole and Oubre, was at it again in this game, giving the Warriors a burst of energy in both the second and fourth quarters.
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Whereas Oubre was the star in the second quarter, it was Poole delivering the fourth-quarter blows that sent the Wizards reeling. He drained back-to-back 3-pointers 18 seconds apart, hiking a five-point lead to 11, putting the Warriors up 104-93 with 6:58 remaining.
The starters, however, were unable to hang on.
Each of Golden State’s last two losses came as leads were blown in the final minutes. That’s not on the second unit.