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Warriors Observations: 3-Point Shooting Vanishes in Loss to Wizards

What we learned in Warriors’ deflating road loss to Wizards originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea

One day before playing the Grizzlies in Memphis, the Warriors again fell to an inferior team, this time to the tune of a 123-115 final score against the Washington Wizards, who had lost eight of their last 10 games.

Coming into the contest, the Wizards ranked 25th in defensive rating (114.0), 18th in opponent’s points per game (111.4) and 22nd in points per game (108.1). Right away, the game wasn’t going the way of the numbers. As the Warriors’ offense stayed stagnant, the Wizards couldn’t miss and much of the loss followed that trend. The Warriors fought their way throughout the game, especially in the fourth quarter, but simply missed too many shots and made far too many defensive mistakes. 

The Warriors are 23-1 when they finish with 30 assists. They had only seven by halftime, and in the loss they totaled 20 to the Wizards’ 33. 

Jordan Poole extended his streak of scoring at least 20 points — finishing with a game-high 26 — but made only one of his 10 3-point attempts. Klay Thompson scored 25 while making five 3-pointers and Andrew Wiggins’ 23 points were his most since Jan. 29.

Draymond Green found a spark after getting tangled up with Kristaps Porzingis more than once, though he continued to look far from the player he was before his back injury and was a minus-20.

Here are three takeaways from another tough loss that dropped the Warriors to 48-27 on the season.

Kispert Catches Fire

If a prospect is seen as a sharpshooter, he automatically gets connected to the Warriors. That’s how it has been the last few years, and it’s exactly what happened with Corey Kispert and Golden State’s second first-round pick going into the draft last year. Kispert ultimately went one pick later to the Wizards after Moses Moody went to the Warriors.

On Sunday, Kispert showed why many thought his next home could be the Bay Area. 

As the Wizards kept extending their lead in the second quarter, all the way up to 18 points at one point, Kispert kept hitting the bottom of the nets. He didn’t make a single 3-pointer when the Warriors beat the Wizards at Chase Center two weeks ago. This time, he made six on nine attempts. 

Kispert scored a career-high 25 points against the Warriors while shooting 9-for-12 from the field and was a plus-16.

Tale Of 3-Point Outcomes

Call it home-court advantage, say what you want but here’s the truth: The Warriors couldn’t buy a 3-pointer and the Wizards must have saved all their makes for this date on the calendar. They entered the day shooting 33 percent from 3-point range. They were just a tad bit better against the Warriors. 

Led by Kispert’s six treys, the Wizards made 16 3-pointers. The Warriors made just eight. Washington shot 57.1 percent from deep, Golden State made just 24.2 percent on 33 attempts. Everything gets harder and the 3-point line gets tighter without Steph Curry, but the Warriors have to be better here. 

If they’re going to go this cold when firing from 3-point range, they have to find other ways to get the offense clicking.

Free Silver Lining

For how bad the Warriors were from deep, they kept going to the free throw line and they have to be happy with the results. 

The Warriors made 31 free throws to the Wizards’ 19, and Golden State shot 79.5 percent from the charity stripe as a team. Poole made nine free throws, Wiggins made seven but Thompson didn’t even attempt one. 

The free throw line just might have to be the Warriors’ best friend if they’re going to struggle close to this much going forward on their 3-point attempts.

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