OAKLAND — Trailing by as much as 18 points in the second half, the Golden State Warriors thundered past the Washington Wizards, 120-117, on Friday night at Oracle Arena.
Kevin Durant spearheaded the late charge dropping in 24 of his game high 31 points in the second half.
Of those 31, 10 came in the fourth quarter, as the Warriors outscored the Wizards 33-20 to push their record to 4-2 overall and 2-0 on the homestand.
The Warriors delivered the comeback without the help of Draymond Green, who was ejected in the first half for a fight.
Stephen Curry was the club’s second-leading scorer with 20, while Klay Thompson went for 18.
Heading into the final stanza, the Warriors had cut the guest’s advantage to 10 points, 97-87. Durant poured in 14 third-quarter points, while Curry drilled a pair of late triples to close the gap.
The Warriors had trudged into the locker room staring at a 67-53 deficit after an ice-cold start to the night from beyond the arc.
The club began the evening 1-for-18 from 3-point range, closing the half 3-for-20.
Draymond exits early
His jersey torn down the side, Green was ejected in the second quarter after fighting with Wizard Bradley Beal.
The exchange, which took place with just over 19 seconds to go until the break, began when Beal hit Green in the face as the pair of forwards fought for position near the Warriors basket.
Both Green and Beal were assessed fighting technicals.
In 15 minutes off the bench, David West contributed 16 points and four boards. Omri Casspi pitched in eight points, while Kevon Looney, who once again got death lineup run, had nine points, including a monster dunk just inside the final three minutes.
A night off for the rookie
Jordan Bell, who has impressed in his young career with the Warriors, was inactive against Washington.
Kerr reasoned that he wanted to give JaVale McGee a chance to prove he could defend in a small-ball lineup.
Kerr also wanted to give Bell an opportunity to study the game alongside Chris DeMarco, the Dubs player development coach.
“It’s not like I’m trying to teach him a lesson or anything,” Kerr said. “It’s more just there’s a lot to this game. There’s a lot of nuance to the NBA game and a guy in his position has a lot to learn.”
McGee finished with four rebounds.