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Wizards Take on Streaking Warriors

January 5, 2014

It was a tale of two halves here at the Verizon Center, and unfortunately for the Wizards, the latter half did not belong to them. After an intense first half, the Wizards came out of the locker room flat, allowing the Warriors to start the quarter on a 30-5 run, and were eventually outscored by 29 in the quarter. In the fourth quarter, the Wizards showed a bit more life, cutting the lead to eleven, but could not get closer than that eventually losing 112 - 96. Golden State’s scorers came to life in the second half, with three of them getting double-doubles. David Lee scored 21 points and grabbed 11 rebounds, Andrew Bogut scored 15 points and had 11 rebounds, and finally Stephen Curry scored 14 points and dished out 10 assists. Klay Thompson led all scorers with 26 points on the night. For the Wizards, John Wall got his eleventh double-double of the season with 14 points and 10 assists. Nene added another 14 points, four rebounds and four assists. It was a good night for the Wizards bench though, who outscored the starters 51-45 and saw Jan Vesely provide the team with a spark in the 4th quarter. He finished with eight points, six boards and three blocks.

The Wizards have now dropped 3 in a row at home going into a 3 game road trip, and this game is the second in a row in which a 3rd quarter collapse has crippled the team. This road trip will be important for the Wizards to rebound, and hopefully grab at least 2 victories against the Bobcats, Pelicans, or Pacers. More than anything, the Wizards need to come together and play a complete game of basketball for all four quarters in order to see some victories. - Brad Bobrow

Halftime Update:

It has been an exciting first half of basketball here at Verizon Center! Both teams started with their foot on the gas and have not let up as they return to the locker room knotted up 58-58 at halftime. The Wizards played one of their best first quarters of the season, starting the game out by scoring on 8 of 9 of their first possessions and pushing the tempo against one of the best backcourts in the NBA. Defensively, the Wizards have done a good job containing Warriors stars Steph Curry, David Lee, and Andre Iguodala, holding them to 5, 9, and 7 points respectively. Klay Thompson leads the Warriors with 16 points, shooting 4/6 from three-point land. John Wall leads the Wizards with 11 points and 6 assists, and Trevor Booker continues to own the glass with 6 rebounds and 4 points. Marcin Gortat adds 10 points and 5 rebounds.

The Wizards should not expect the Warriors scorers, especially Steph Curry, to stay this quiet the whole game, so it will be very important to continue to play smart team defense. Offensively, the team is playing at a very fast tempo, and have 4 steals including one that led to a monster one-handed slam by Bradley Beal. Gortat and Nene have done a good job on both sides of the court, and the Wizards and the Warriors both have 28 points in the paint. Stay tuned for an exciting second half here at Verizon Center! - Brad Bobrow

We're back at Verizon Center to wrap up this three game homestand for the Wizards. Tonight, the opponent is the Golden State Warriors, the NBA's hottest team.

Winner of their last eight games (five on the road), the Warriors are coming off a dramatic game-winning shot from Andre Iguodala in Atlanta. He's been a big shot maker for them this season, but the Wizards will likely be more concerned with the Warriors' backcourt. Steph Curry and Klay Thompson are the top scoring backcourt in the league (42.3 ppg). They are the only backcourt who average more points than the Wizards' John Wall and Bradley Beal (37.9 ppg). They can shoot the lights out and are both very dangerous from beyond the arc. They rank second and third in the NBA in three-pointers made and the Wizards are well aware.

After yesterday's practice, Bradley Beal discussed picking them up early in the offensive sets and half jokingly said they can make shots from the Wizards logo.

Randy Wittman talked more about the Warriors and how the focus will be on taking away those three-point shots. He said the key will be to not let them get a lot of good looks and to keep them from getting into a rhythm.

Wittman also spoke about how the Wizards need to fly around the court tonight and bring the energy from the opening tip.

While Curry has always been a lethal three-point shooter, he's averaging 9.6 assists per game this year which is good for second in the NBA. He's become a much better all-around player and should be on his way to his first ever All-Star Game in February.

The Wizards are looking to make Verizon Center a home court advantage again. They have lost five of six at home and this is the final game before heading on the road for three.

There's a lot of attention on tonight's backcourts, but don't underestimate the big men in tonight's game. The Wizards' Trevor Booker is averaging 16 boards over the last two games and he'll go up against one of the better offensive power forwards in the league in David Lee. At center, the Marcin Gortat - Andrew Bogut battle of the seven footers should be tough and physical.

This could be a game played in the 100's, a number the Wizards have not hit since last Saturday when they scored a 106 against Detroit.

We are in for an exciting one, so buckle up and join the Live Chat tonight at 6pm.