Game Preview: Warriors vs. Wizards - 4/9/21

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WARRIORS WELCOME THE WIZARDS ON FRIDAY NIGHT
Following Tuesday’s thrilling win over the Milwaukee Bucks, the Warriors host another Eastern Conference foe Friday night when the Washington Wizards come to Chase Center. This matchup will be the first time the two squads face each other this season, as well as the first time they have met in over 13 months. The clubs split their season series 1-1 during the shortened 2019-2020 campaign, but both enter Friday’s contest with vastly different lineups from before.

LAST TIME OUT
The Warriors used a 14-1 run in the fourth quarter to overcome a 10-point deficit and Kelly Oubre Jr. came up big in the fourth quarter of Tuesday’s 122-121 win over the Milwaukee Bucks. » Full Game Recap

MATCHUP AT A GLANCE

GSW WAS
24-27 18-32
10th in West 13th in East
PTS: 112.0 (16th) PTS: 113.6 (11th)
REB: 42.6 (24th) REB: 44.1 (15th)
AST: 27.3 (1st) AST: 24.8 (14th)

PREVIOUS GAME'S STARTERS
GSW: Stephen Curry, Kelly Oubre Jr., Andrew Wiggins, Draymond Green and James Wiseman
WAS: Bradley Beal, Russell Westbrook, Rui Hchimura, Deni Avdija and Alex Len

INJURY & ROSTER NOTES
GSW: Eric Paschall (left hip flexor strain) and Klay Thompson (Achilles rehab) are out. Team Notes

WAS: Thomas Bryant (left ACL) and Daniel Gafford (right ankle) are out. Team Notes

WARRIORS COMPETE TO THE END
Despite the Warriors’ 24-27 record, the squad has shown a tenacity and perseverance in games that have come down to the wire. The Dubs are 3-0 in games decided by just one point following Oubre‘s game-clinching free throws in Tuesday’s win over the Bucks. Both of the previous one-point winners came from late-game heroics courtesy of Damion Lee. Dub Nation may recall the Warriors’ road game against the Chicago Bulls: on an impromptu inbound play, Damion Lee hit a three-pointer at the final buzzer to claim their first victory on the season with a 129-128 final score. It was a few short weeks later when Lee came up clutch again when he hit a pair of free throws with 4.3 seconds left on the game clock to take a 106-105 lead over the visiting Toronto Raptors, a lead they held until the game clock hit zero. Besides these clutch late-game performances, Tuesday’s game also marked the seventh time the Warriors overcame a double-figure deficit and went on to win this season. Steve Kerr said of the team’s determination following Tuesday’s game: “I've really enjoyed coaching this group all year, even with our struggles and our frustrations they’re a great group of guys. They care, they compete.”

TEAM LEADERS

GSW WAS
PTS: Curry (29.7) PTS: Beal (31.2)
REB: Green (6.5) REB: Westbrook (10.5)
AST: Green (8.5) AST: Westbrook (10.6)

WASHINGTON SCOUTING REPORT
Bradley Beal returned to action in their last game on Wednesday after a five game absence to post 26 points for the Wizards, adding to the three-time All-Star’s red-hot season in which he is averaging 31.2 pints per game. Though a long-time keystone and the leading scorer of the franchise for the last five seasons, the Wizards added major reinforcements this season by acquiring 2016-17 MVP Russell Westbrook via trade with the Houston Rockets just weeks before this season tipped off. He continues to be a machine as he had been in Houston, averaging a triple-double nightly (21.8 points, 10.5 rebounds and 10.6 assists). While the duo accounts for 47 percent of the Wizards’ nightly scoring and are threats inside as well as outside the arc, the team struggles to close-out games. Washington is 5-14 over their last 19 contests. While their win on over the Orlando Magic on Wednesday snapped a four-game losing streak, they nearly gave up a 21-point third quarter lead. They had a similar issue Monday when they gave up a 19-point second half lead to the Toronto Raptors in that loss. The Wizards play fast-paced basketball, currently holding the highest pace in the league, but they give up opportunities to their opponents on the defensive end.

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