The Golden State Warriors still aren’t quite where they want to be, but at least they’re starting to win some games. The Warriors will try to tighten some things up and pull off their third consecutive win when they host the Washington Wizards on Friday.
Golden State needed key 3-pointers in the final minutes from Kevin Durant and Stephen Curry to pull off a 117-112 win at home over the Toronto Raptors on Wednesday, and coach Steve Kerr sees room for improvement. “I think our conditioning is both mental and physical,” Kerr told reporters. “I think our mental conditioning is not there and it just shows in a lot of different ways. Our execution just isn’t quite sharp enough. We call a few plays and all of a sudden one guy is out of position, so we don’t really get the full execution.” The Wizards are coming off their first loss of the season -- a 102-99 overtime setback at the Los Angeles Lakers on Wednesday -- and were questioning their own effort after the game. “We just didn’t want it,” Washington guard Bradley Beal told reporters. “We gave the game away. Just plain and simple. We were up double digits numerous times and we got to keep attacking, stay aggressive and we didn’t do that. We got lackadaisical. I don’t know who we were (Wednesday), but it wasn’t the Washington Wizards, that’s for sure.”
TV: 10:30 p.m. ET, NBATV, NBCS Washington, NBCS Bay Area (Golden State)
ABOUT THE WIZARDS (3-1): Several of the questions after the loss on Wednesday centered around the decision making of point guard John Wall, who forced up a 3-pointer for the last shot instead of finding an open teammate. “We have to find a better shot. He’s better than that,” Washington coach Scott Brooks told reporters of Wall. “Something that we’re going to have get better with. I thought (Beal) was open at the end but I trust John’s decision. I didn’t like the shot, but I trust his decisions.” Wall is just 10-of-35 from the floor over the last two games and 2-of-14 from beyond the arc on the season.
ABOUT THE WARRIORS (3-2): Golden State led the NBA in defensive field-goal percentage (43.5) last season but slipped to 45.2 percent through five games in 2017-18, prompting reigning NBA Defensive Player of the Year Draymond Green to call out his team. “Our defense has been horrible,” Green said, according to ESPN.com. “Nobody is communicating, which is the main problem. At first, we were fouling a lot. The first four games, the fouls were horrific. Then (Wednesday), we fouled a bit early and then we cut back on that and turned the ball over and it’s hard to defend that. ... We just got to put everything together.” Covering over some of those mistakes on the other end are Curry (29.2 points), Durant (25) and Klay Thompson (21.2).
1. Warriors PG Shaun Livingston (personal) will not play on Friday.
2. Beal scored at least 20 points in each of the first four games and is averaging 24.5 points on 45.3 percent shooting.
3. Golden State took five of the last six in the series, including a 139-115 drubbing at home on April 2.
PREDICTION: Warriors 118, Wizards 106