Posted March 04, 2012 on
AP on Fox
The Washington Wizards finally took advantage of some strong performances from two of their young players last time out. In their next game, the Wizards might benefit from the absence of one of Golden State's young stars.
A foot injury has Stephen Curry's status unknown for the struggling Warriors' visit to the Verizon Center on Monday night.
John Wall has averaged 22.3 points over Washington's last eight games, and Jordan Crawford has contributed 21.8 per game over that same span while moving into the starting lineup.
The Wizards, though, earned their only victory in the first game of that stretch before edging Cleveland 101-98 on Saturday. Crawford led the way with 31 points, one shy of matching his career high set against Sacramento on Feb. 22, and Wall chipped in 24 points.
"We were on a six-game losing streak and we needed to end it. Tonight happened to be the night. We did the things we needed to do, we got stops and got rebounds," said Crawford, who made a career-high 13 field goals and matched another mark with five 3-pointers.
Crawford and the Wizards (8-28) will next face a Golden State team that's lost its scoring touch as Curry has dealt with a strained tendon in his right foot.
The point guard has played only three seconds during a 1-3 stretch, and his team has averaged 80.3 points on 37.9 percent shooting in those four games. That's far below its 99.2 point average and 45.9 percent shooting over the first 30 contests this season.
The Warriors (14-20) were 29 of 80 from the field (36.3 percent) and 4 of 19 from 3-point range in their worst scoring performance of the season Sunday, an 83-75 loss in Toronto. David Lee (22 points, 12 rebounds) was one of only two players in double figures for Golden State, which scored 11 points in the third quarter and 28 in the second half during the fifth of a season-high six consecutive road games.
"It hurts really bad," rookie swingman Klay Thompson said. "This was a very winnable game, a team that we thought we were better than."
The Warriors have been better than the Wizards lately, having won the past two matchups and six of the last nine. While they've averaged 113.3 points over those nine meetings, their defense hasn't provided much help by giving up 113.1 per game.
Golden State has allowed at least 98 points in each of the last 12 matchups and an average of 114.2.
Washington, though, enters this first meeting of the season scoring 92.9 points per game - 4.4 fewer than last season.
The Wizards are seeking their fifth win in seven home meetings but might need to do a better job containing Monta Ellis. Golden State's leading scorer averaged 29.0 points on 52.3 percent shooting against Washington last season and 27.5 over his last four matchups.
The Wizards, meanwhile, could benefit from Andray Blatche's return from a strained left calf. He's averaged 19.2 points against Golden State since the beginning of the 2008-09 season for his best mark against any opponent over that span.
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