Warriors vs. Wizards: What to watch for

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Warriors vs. Wizards: What to watch for

Programming note: Warriors-Wizards coverage begins at 3:30 p.m. with Warriors Pregame Live on Comcast SportsNet Bay Area. Stick around after the final whistle for Warriors Postgame Live!

The Warriors are coming off an impressive win over the Nets in Brooklyn on Friday, and now a potential toe-stubber shows up in the form of the Washington Wizards.

Golden State (12-7), which has started its seven-game road trip with consecutive wins, faces the worst team in the league – record-wise, certainly – on Saturday at the Verizon Center, in D.C.

The Wizards (2-14) began the year with 12 straight losses, but have won two of their past four games – including a win last Tuesday against the defending-champion Miami Heat.

John Wall has been out all season for the Wizards with a strained left knee, and Trevor Ariza missed Friday’s game against the Hawks with a strained left calf.

Here are some things to watch for when the Warriors play the Wizards on Saturday night:

No letdown: No doubt, the Warriors are coming off a satisfying win against the Nets. Can they back it up? Quite frankly, there’s no reason to think they can’t.

The Warriors are 6-4 on the road this season, with wins over the L.A. Clippers, Mavericks and now Brooklyn.

Harrison Barnes, Festus Ezeli and Carl Landry all had minutes on the low-side against the Nets, so they should be able to play plenty of minutes, if need be, against Washington.

Pace of the game: It’s not a stretch to suggest that the Warriors have more scorers on their roster than the Wizards. And so one thing Golden State would like to do is quicken the game in order to create more possessions.

The more uptempo the game, the more it favors the Warriors. In that respect, it’s not dissimilar to Friday night’s game against the Nets.

By getting into the hundreds against the Nets – a 109-102 victory – it sure seemed to give the Warriors a better shot at winning the game.

More Curry and Lee: There have been numerous contributors this season for the Warriors, but in recent games Stephen Curry and David Lee have been particularly good.

Curry had 28 points and five assists against Brooklyn, and had had four consecutive 20-point, 10-assist games before that. Lee is coming off a 30-point, 15-rebound game against the Nets and he’d been very good before that.

If Curry and Lee continue to play well, the Warriors have a chance to have a very good road trip.

Potential free agent Durant on Chase Center: 'It'll be fun playing in there'

Potential free agent Durant on Chase Center: 'It'll be fun playing in there'

In July, Kevin Durant signed a two-year deal with the Warriors with a player-option for Year 2.

With the salary cap rising again, the 2013-14 MVP is expected to opt out and become a free agent.

Near the end of the Warriors' Chase Center ground breaking ceremony on Tuesday, emcee Kevin Frazier asked Durant the following question:

Frazier: "Before you go, do you want to tell the owners anything about re-signing or anything like that?"

Durant: "It'll be fun playing in there," and the crowd erupted in applause.

Earlier during the ceremony, Warriors owner and CEO Joe Lacob joked about Durant agreeing to re-sign with the Warriors this summer.

Curry bounces back in blowout, wins point guard battle with Irving

Curry bounces back in blowout, wins point guard battle with Irving

OAKLAND -- No one among the Warriors had a deeper desire to beat the Cavaliers than Stephen Curry, and his performance Monday gave every indication that he wanted it as badly as he needed it.

And after losing the point-guard battle to Cleveland’s Kyrie Irving in four successive games, all Warriors losses, it was past time for Curry as the back-to-back MVP to stand up and make a statement.

His response was impressive: 20 points (7-of-20 shooting), 11 assists, four steals and a 126-91 rout by the Warriors. He was plus-23 over 31 minutes.

“He was making shots, it’s as simple as that,” Irving said. “In transition, off pick-and-rolls, doing what he does and that makes him a great player.”

Irving’s response: 17 points (6-of-19 shooting), two assists and a game-high-tying (with teammate LeBron James) six turnovers. Irving was minus-12 over 29 minutes.

“Steph was great,” coach Steve Kerr said. “A phenomenal first half, I think he had 10 assists. His energy was great and he set the tone. He put a lot of pressure on the defense.”

Curry has been playing with renewed vigor lately, his mentality changing shortly after the Warriors on Christmas Day in Cleveland blew a 14-point lead in the fourth quarter, taking a 109-108 loss. Curry took only 11 shots, scoring 15 points.

He was particularly good in the first half, scoring 14 points on 5-of-11 shooting, with 10 assists and three steals. Curry clearly came to destroy.

“It was a great way to start, just a foot on the gas pedal,” Curry said.

Curry’s game, along with the victory, may silence some of the narrative suggesting the Cavaliers have his number. Though he was displeased with one aspect of his game, Curry happily accepted the outcome. Or that Irving hadn't caught up to him.

“I obviously wanted to play well; I didn’t want to walk off the floor with anything more than what I think is a solid, aggressive game,” he said. “I didn’t shoot the ball as well as I wanted to. Some shots I normally make didn’t go down.

But I can live with that knowing I took care of the other stuff I was supposed to do on the floor. Really, what was all in my head was that I definitely wanted to leave this arena tonight with a solid performance and obviously get the win.”