What was to be expected: the Wizards struggling at the end of a long road trip following an emotional win in another city the previous night. Facing a rested Golden State Warriors team, the Wizards fell behind by double digits in the first quarter, were victimized by a Stephen Curry blitz in the second and ultimately saw their fourth-quarter rally fall short in a 101-92 loss.
What wasn't to be expected: John Wall getting ejected in the third quarter. The Wizards' star had picked up a technical for arguing a call earlier in the game, then picked up a second for going after Klay Thompson. As you can see here, Wall was upset because Thompson fouled him hard on a fast break and let him know about it. Wall's frustration is understandable, but that's the kind of situation where it's better for Randy Wittman or another player to pick up a technical on Wall's behalf. Instead, Wall couldn't keep his cool and got thrown out.
That pretty much killed any hopes of a victory. The Wizards had cut what was a 21-point Warriors lead down to 10 at one point, but saw the Warriors bump the lead back up to double digits. Washington dug deep and got as close as seven in the fourth quarter thanks to some hot Cartier Martin shooting, but Curry held off every run before he got taken out with an ankle injury. The Wizards got no closer than nine after that.
It looked bad early when the Warriors scored the first eight points of the game and it kept getting worse from there. Wall, for the first time in three weeks, couldn't get anything going in a game. The Warriors' defense seemed perfectly aligned to stop him, unlike many of the defenses he's torched in the last few weeks. They hung Andrew Bogut back in the paint to prevent Wall from driving and were careful to help off the weakside corner three-point shooter, cutting off Wall's favorite pass. The absence of Trevor Ariza definitely hurt Wall, though, and he's entitled to one so-so game after his recent run of play. He had picked it up in the third quarter before being thrown out.
On the other end, hot Warriors shooting did Washington in. That's what can happen when you have Curry and Klay Thompson on the perimeter. Thompson is really streaky from game-to-game and even within games, and he was on the right side of the pendulum when coming off baseline curls during the first and second quarters. Curry picked right up after Thompson cooled off, crossing Wall up on one three and getting all net on multiple contested mid-range shots.
All in all, you have to at least appreciate the Wizards' fight. A couple years ago, this would have been a 30-point schedule loss. While that doesn't sound like much, these are the kinds of things that demonstrate a culture change. Hanging tough despite injuries, ejections and the end of a long road trip can mean something in the long haul.