What a night for Bradley Beal, who made an unexpected return to the Washington Wizards lineup after sitting out multiple weeks due to a stress reaction in his right fibula.
Every NBA player dreams of having their moment at Madison Square Garden, and Beal stepped up and delivered when the Wizards needed it most. After squandering a 15 point lead in the second half, it seemed like the Wizards were heading for another heartbreaking loss. John Wall couldn’t buy a basket after scoring 19 of his 20 points in the first half, and the team relied on the second year guard to lead them to victory.
Unlike a lot of sophomore players in the NBA, Bradley Beal has hit clutch shots in the past so it’s no surprise that Randy Wittman put the ball in his hands down the stretch. Beal has hit game winners during his rookie season and Wittman trusted him enough to make him the go-to player in the fourth quarter despite missing multiple games due to injury.
Beal hit a few ridiculous threes in the final moments of the game, including one which was well beyond the 3-point arc to even the game up at 100. Thankfully for the Wizards, the Knicks followed the sequence up with a missed free throw allowing them to take the final shot of the game. Beal faked a screen with Marcin Gortat, and instead of fouling him, the Knicks allowed Beal to go straight to the basket for a go ahead layup for the game. Beal finished the night with 21 points in just 30 minutes of action, 14 of his 21 coming in the fourth quarter.
It was certainly a fun night and definitely a game Bradley Beal won’t forget. Washington has lost multiple close games this month that could’ve potentially went their way, but without a closer they ultimately failed to win those games. Bradley Beal has certainly stepped up as the team’s closer, which definitely doesn’t hurt since John Wall is also capable of taking that role.
Welcome back Bradley Beal.