LOS ANGELES: The Golden State Warriors shook off an “awful” start and the ejection of Draymond Green to rally for a 120-117 NBA victory over the Washington Wizards on Friday (Saturday in Manila).
The reigning NBA champion Warriors missed 17 of 20 three-point attempts in the first half and lost Green when he and Washington guard Bradley Beal got into a fight with 19.5 seconds left before the interval.
Washington pushed their lead to 18 points twice in the third quarter before the Warriors broke out for 33 points in the final period.
“We were just awful for 2 1/2 quarters,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr said. “We finally climbed back in it. It took our bench to settle us down.”
Andre Iguodala’s layup with 3:13 remaining, off a pass from Stephen Curry, put the Warriors ahead for good.
Washington had a chance to tie the game on an inbounds play with 1.1 seconds remaining, but John Wall missed a 25-foot jump shot as time expired.
Kevin Durant led the Warriors with 31 points and Curry added 20 to go with eight assists.
But the bench, with nine points from Kevon Looney, 16 from David West and eight from Omri Casspi were key.
“I just thought we got a little bit more aggressive,” West said. “We got our composure during that second half.”
Both teams had to regroup after the departures of Green and Beal who tangled after Beal appeared to slap Green after both went for a loose ball. Green tried to wrap up Beal and before they were separated Beal had Green in a headlock and both were tossed.
Green, who received his second technical for the incident, looked disgusted as he departed the court with his jersey shredded.
“I thought Draymond defended himself and bit the bullet of being ejected for the game,” West said.