Bradley Beal isn't in the mood to hear about quality losses, especially since the Wizards dropped their 26th game of the season on Wednesday night to the Golden State Warriors 134-121.
But he gets the overall point.
“I went right into the locker room and I said, ‘Guys, if we play like this, and put it on the floor, we're gonna be really good.’ That's all you can ask for as a coach," said Don Newman, who has filled in for Randy Wittman the last two games while he's on personal leave.
Against the NBA's best scoring defense, the Wizards shot 46 of 91 (50.5%). They assisted on 26 of those makes. John Wall scored a season-high 41 points followed by Beal's 18.
“I hate losing," Beal said. "We did play hard. If we play like that every game, we should be able to beat everybody. We just can't show up against Golden State because it's Golden State. We have to be able to carry this out throughout the rest of the year. It's do or die.”
The Warriors (45-4) are on a historic pace. The problems the Wizards have had all season when it comes to focus and effort didn't appear to be the issue. They made adjustments on Curry to trap the ball out of his hands when he scored 36 of his 51 points in the first half. But they just ran into a buzzsaw.
"We played with a lot of energy. We competed. I think we understood ... if we don’t play well we’ll lose by 50 or 60," Wall said. "It’s something we talked about at shootaround. I think we just need to take the way we competed tonight and do that the rest of the season no matter who we play. We give ourselves a lot of chances to win games and our defensive coaches are right, we just need to make some big plays.”
The Wizards practice this morning and have a winnable game at home vs. the Philadelphia 76ers on Friday followed by a few more heading into the All-Star break.
“I still feel like we could have beat them, just sitting there reminiscing about everything. We still have opportunities to win. We could have eliminated his threes but he had a lot of them, he had a lot of cherry picks, he had a lot of open ones," Beal said of Curry shooting 11 of 16 from three-point range. " Of course he's gonna knock it down. I think we could have done a better job of taking everybody else away.
"If he's gonna have that many points, there's no way everybody else should have 20 or anywhere in the teens. We have to do a better job of knowing our personnel, but you have to give credit where it's due. They're a great team."