Green, Beal ejected in Warriors’ comeback win vs. Wizards
OAKLAND, Calif. — The Golden State Warriors got huge second-half contributions from the bench in a 120-117 come-from-behind win over the Washington Wizards on Friday night. All it took was having All-Star forward Draymond Green ejected from the game.
David West, Kevon Looney and Omri Casspi combined for 16 of Golden State’s 33 points in the fourth quarter as the Warriors, down 18 midway through the third quarter, ran down the Wizards in the final minutes after trailing for most of the evening.
Green was ejected with 19.5 seconds to go in the first half. That loosened up playing time on the front line as West, Looney and Casspi, all 6-foot-9 reserve forwards, got a chance to shine.
“We don’t win without those three guys,” Warriors forward Kevin Durant said.
Durant led the Warriors with 31 points, 24 of them in the second half as the defending NBA champs pulled themselves out of their lethargy to run their record to 4-2.
The loss of Green was unexpected. He and Wizards guard Bradley Beal fought it out with the rest of both teams heading down court. Beal seemed to have slapped Green and put him in a headlock before players from both sides and officials raced in to break it up. Both players were ejected.
“It was a scuffle,” Beal said afterward. “I’m not going to go into details about it. I’ll do that with the league tomorrow. We just got into it, and things got out of hand and we both got ejected.”
Beal said he apologized to his teammates at halftime and again after the game. He had 14 first-half points as the Wizards raced to a 67-53 halftime lead. Without him, the Washington offense went from boil to simmer in the second half, allowing the Warriors a chance to rally.
Wizards coach Scott Brooks said he wasn’t “getting involved in that” when the subject of the fight came up. But he admitted the game changed after that.
“It’s tough to lose one of our best players,” he said of Beal. “He’s one of the best players in the league, but that’s the way it goes. Our guys still gave great effort.”
Green declined to talk after the game, but his teammates came to his defense, with Durant saying “Brad and Draymond both really want to win; it happens. It’s unfortunate Draymond got tossed out for getting punched, but that’s just how it is.”
To get within 10 points down at 97-87 at three quarters, Golden State needed a jump-start from guard Steph Curry, who’d been silent before hitting two 3-pointers and two free throws in the final 57 seconds to get the Warriors close.
West, Looney and Casspi triggered the 33-20 surge in the fourth quarter with no small amount of help from Durant, who scored 10 in the quarter. It was an Andre Iguodala layup off a Curry pass that gave the Warriors the lead for good at 111-109 with 3:13 to play.
Still, the Warriors didn’t put the game away for good until there were four seconds left when John Wall and Jodie Meeks both missed 3-pointers in the final four seconds that would have forced overtime.
“We were up 10 going into the fourth,” Wall said. “And then ... I think David West was the MVP of the game.”
NOTES: Golden State has rallied from 15 or more points down to win games 23 times since the 2014-15 season. That’s the most in the NBA over that space. ... On the night the Warriors celebrated the legacy of Al Attles, the former player and coach was hospitalized and couldn’t make it. Warriors coach Steve Kerr, a huge Attles fan, was wearing an Attles-inspired retro suit from the 1970s, black with a huge pre-disco butterfly collar. ... Rookie F Jordan Bell, who had played in each of the Warriors’ first five games, was inactive. Kerr said he wanted Bell to sit, watch and take in some of the nuance of the game. ... Golden State G Shaun Livingston took the game off to attend the funeral of Devin Harris’ brother. ... The Wizards have allowed over 100 points in all five games this season, with the Warriors 120 the highest total so far. ... G Bradley Beal said that a 3-1 record coming into Friday didn’t mask that Washington was making too many defensive mistakes and had to turn that around. “We have to. It’s beyond important,” Beal said. “If we don’t communicate, they’re going to beat you by 30. It’s not like we don’t like each other. It’s not like we have a problem with each other. It’s just a matter of us just doing it. We know what we need to do. It starts with talking. It starts with leadership.”