Golden State (26-33) at Washington (15-44)

By JEFF MEZYDLO, STATS Senior Writer Wednesday, Mar 2, 2011 Tipoff: 7:00 pm EST Wed Mar 2, 2011

Golden State is off to a poor start on its longest road trip of the season. Even a matchup with the lowly Washington Wizards might not guarantee things will get better for the struggling Warriors.

The Warriors look to avoid a fifth consecutive loss overall Wednesday night to the Wizards, who have dropped six in a row themselves.

After losing to Boston and Atlanta on a brief homestand, Golden State (26-33) has dropped the first two stops on its seven-game trip. The Warriors opened the stretch with a 126-123 loss at struggling Minnesota on Sunday, then followed with a 109-100 defeat at Indiana on Tuesday.

The four-game skid likely drained any momentum the Warriors built by winning seven of the previous nine contests. Golden State is 12th in the Western Conference, 6 1/2 games out of the eighth and final playoff spot.

While Golden State ranks near the bottom of the NBA allowing 105.9 points per game, it has given up 111.3 per contest the last four games.

The Warriors allowed Indiana to shoot 51.2 percent from the field in the second half Tuesday.

“I think we’re focused on what we’re trying to do,” guard Stephen Curry(notes) said of the Warriors’ defense. “We have a lot of effort. We have to look at film and see what teams are doing. I’m trying to find an answer. I don’t really have one.”

Though it would seem Golden State has a good chance to get back on track versus a Washington team that has lost 17 of 20, the Warriors have lost three of four overall and two straight on the road against the Wizards.

Washington averaged 115.0 points on 51.1 percent shooting to sweep the two-game season series versus Golden State in 2009-10.

The Wizards (15-44), however, have averaged 92.5 points during their current six-game skid. Washington has lost four of the last eight games by 20 or more points.

It shot 35.6 percent in Monday’s 105-77 home loss to Chicago.

“Our fans were trying to fight back for us,” said Washington forward Andray Blatche(notes), who has totaled 46 points and 18 rebounds the last two home games versus Golden State. “But it came to the point where we didn’t give them no reason to fight back after we were down by 20-something.”

The Wizards must try to end their skid without coach Flip Saunders, who has left the team due to “a family emergency involving his mother.” Assistant Randy Wittman will take over, just as he did when Saunders missed a Dec. 29 win over Indiana for the same reason.

Though Washington has struggled, rookie point guard John Wall(notes) is playing better. Despite being held to nine points against Chicago, Wall has averaged 19.9 the last seven games.

He’ll match up for the first time against Curry, who has totaled 53 points the last two games. The second-year point guard scored 27 in each of the two losses to Washington last season.

Curry had 20 points while Reggie Williams(notes) scored 25 off the bench Tuesday as the Warriors, who could not hold a nine-point first-half lead.

Among the NBA scoring leaders averaging 24.7 points, Golden State’s Monta Ellis(notes) was held to 13 at Indiana. He’s averaged 16.0 points during the four-game skid.

A day after Washington bought out the contract of veteran Mike Bibby(notes), who played just two games since being traded to the Wizards last week, the club did the same with forward Al Thornton(notes) on Tuesday.

The Warriors are reportedly interested in the forward, who averaged 8.0 points and 3.2 rebounds in 49 games for the Wizards.

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Wednesday, Mar 2