WASHINGTON –Even after Kevin Durant injured his left knee and departed only 93 seconds in, and even after Golden State trailed by as many as 19 points, and even after Stephen Curry’s drought from behind the arc stretched to 14 attempts over two games, the NBA-best Warriors had a pretty good chance to take the lead late.
That’s because Curry caught the Washington Wizards trying to made a defensive switch, so he let fly on a potential go-ahead 3-pointer from 31 feet away with less than 10 seconds left Tuesday night and the Warriors trailing by two.
“A shot I normally make, so I was confident,” Curry said. “You live for those moments. You live with the result.”
Markieff Morris grabbed the rebound, then made a pair of free throws with 3.7 seconds remaining, capping his 22-point night and clinching Washington’s 112-108 victory despite Curry’s 25 points.
Durant hyperextended his knee when teammate Zaza Pachulia fell into him after getting pushed by Washington centre Marcin Gortat. Golden State’s leading scorer and rebounder – who exited with zero points, ending his streak of 562 regular-season games with at least 10 – will have an MRI exam Wednesday.
“I’m always concerned about any injury, because you never know how bad it’s going to be,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr said, “so we’ll just wait and see and keep our fingers crossed.”
Draymond Green, who had 14 points and 14 assists, said he was “just really hoping that it was a bone bruise.”
Washington’s Scott Brooks, who coached Durant when both were with Oklahoma City, said: “Hopefully it’s nothing serious. Prayers go to him.”
Much, much later in the evening, after Golden State had erased its early 39-20 deficit and entered the fourth quarter tied, the Wizards figured they were in trouble. That’s because Curry got that open look, even if he went only 2 for 9 on 3s one night after going 0 for 11.
“We were switching and he just stopped – way, way, way out,” Washington’s John Wall said after tying his career high with 19 assists while dealing with a cold. “Just prayed it didn’t go in.”
Bradley Beal, who led the Wizards with 25 points, said: “I’m not going to lie: When he shot it, I was a little nervous. … We were fortunate he’s been off a little bit from deep range.”
Washington had broken a 108-all tie when Otto Porter made two foul shots after being fouled by Curry on a putback attempt with 17.5 seconds remaining.
“It was huge,” Brooks said. “Otto’s a sneaky rebounder offensively.”
Warriors: Had won six consecutive games at Washington. … Went 6 for 6 on free-throw tries in the first half, one game after making a season-high 24 in the opening 24 minutes.
Wizards: Morris was fined $25,000 by the NBA on Tuesday for throwing a basketball at an official and into the seats in Sunday’s game.
FAIR OR FOUL
Asked about getting zero free-throw attempts, Wall replied: “I’m going to save my money, so no comment. But hopefully I can start shooting a couple free throws.” Then he rolled up his sleeve to reveal a cut near his left wrist and added: “See? I’ve got a new scar. You see? A little war wound. Used to it by now.”
JENNINGS TO DC?
A person familiar with the Wizards’ plans told The Associated Press the team intends to sign guard Brandon Jennings if he clears waivers. Jennings was waived by the Knicks on Monday.
Warriors: At Chicago on Thursday.
Wizards: At Toronto on Wednesday.