Wizards spoil Durant's return to DC, Warriors star exits game early with injury
WASHINGTON (AP) — Kevin Durant injured his left knee and departed after only 93 seconds, Golden State trailed by as many as 19 points in the first quarter, and Stephen Curry missed a potential go-ahead 3-pointer late, all leading to a 112-108 victory for the Washington Wizards, who got a career high-tying 19 assists from John Wall on Tuesday night.
Durant hyperextended his knee and will have an MRI exam after teammate Zaza Pachulia was pushed into him by Washington center Marcin Gortat. The 2014 NBA MVP and Golden State's leading scorer and rebounder exited with zero points, ending his streak of 562 regular-season games with at least 10 points.
Bradley Beal scored 25 points and Markieff Morris added 22, including a pair of free throws after Curry's 3 was off-target in the final 10 seconds.
Washington had broken a 108-all tie when Otto Porter made two foul shots after being fouled by Curry on a putback attempt with 17.5 seconds remaining.
Curry scored 25 points but made only 2 of 9 tries from behind the arc. He started 0 for 3, making him 0 for 14 after missing all 11 tries in a win at the Philadelphia 76ers a night earlier.
It was a rather sloppy game, with the teams combining for 39 turnovers, 20 by Washington. But it was back-and-forth down the stretch after a terrible start for the Warriors.
On a Wizards possession under their basket less than a minute into the game, Gortat tossed Pachulia aside. Pachulia stumbled and landed on Durant's left leg. Durant immediately clutched at his knee, then hobbled around a bit. He stayed in for a few more possessions before limping off toward the locker room when Golden State called timeout.
Washington led 39-20 on a fast-break dunk by Kelly Oubre Jr. a little more than 9½ minutes into the game. A bit earlier, the Wizards were ahead 29-14 on Beal's 9-foot baseline floater — and right then, he was outscoring the Warriors all by himself, 16-14.
The Wizards were up 40-26 after the opening quarter, and 61-49 at halftime.
But less than 2½ minutes into the second half, Golden State had sliced its deficit to 63-59.
With 2:10 left in the third quarter, Shaun Livingston's pair of foul shots gave Golden State its first lead of the game, at 80-79, and it was 85-all heading to the fourth quarter
Warriors: Had won six consecutive games at Washington. ... Went 6 for 6 on free-throw tries in the first half, one game after making a season-high 24 in the opening 24 minutes.
Wizards: Morris was fined $25,000 by the NBA on Tuesday for throwing a basketball at an official and into the seats with about 7½ minutes left in a 102-92 loss to Utah on Sunday.
DURANT IN DC
This was Durant's first game in the nation's capital since signing with the Warriors; the Wizards — and their fans — had hoped to try to sign him as a free agent last offseason. He grew up in the Washington area, and said Tuesday that he used to put too much pressure on himself playing in front of friends and family. It also was Durant's first game against his former coach with the Oklahoma City Thunder, Scott Brooks, who joined Washington this season.
JENNINGS TO DC?
A person familiar with the Wizards' plans told The Associated Press the team intends to sign guard Brandon Jennings if he clears waivers. The person spoke on condition of anonymity on Tuesday night because nothing had been announced. Jennings was waived by the New York Knicks on Monday after less than a season with the club. The interest between Jennings and Washington was first reported by Yahoo Sports.
Warriors: At Chicago on Thursday night, the third stop of a five-game road trip.
Wizards: At Toronto on Wednesday night for the second half of a back-to-back.
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