Bradley Beal scored a bunch of points, and the Washington Wizards still lost. What else is new?
Is there a better scorer in the NBA than Bradley Beal? If you’ve got a list of guys better, I’d like to see it.
One night after Steph Curry had a career-high 62 points in a win over the Portland Trail Blazers, Bradley Beal made sure to quickly insert himself back in the “NBA’s best scorers” conversation. In a 141-136 loss to the Philadelphia 76ers that dropped the Wizards to 2-6, Beal scored 60!
Beal’s massive scoring output ties the single-game franchise record set by Gilbert Arenas, who scored 60 in an overtime shootout vs. Kobe Bryant and the Los Angeles Lakers. The Wizards won that game 147-141.
Bradley Beal’s massive night can’t save the Washington Wizards from themselves.
Beal needed only three quarters to eclipse his former career-high, 55 points, which came in a loss to the Milwaukee Bucks one night after Beal scored 53 in a loss to the Chicago Bulls. There seems to be an unfortunate pattern of defeat attached to these prolific point totals.
In the loss to Philadelphia, Beal’s full offensive arsenal was on display. He was on fire from outside, going 7-10 from three. And he was just as deadly inside the arc, making 13-25 two-point field goals. As he’s been doing all season, he also made the 76ers pay from the foul line. Beal went 13-15 from the charity stripe. Beal also grabbed seven rebounds and five assists.
This marks the second Wizards’ loss to the Philadelphia 76ers this season and their ninth consecutive loss in the City of Brotherly Love. However, the two losses to the 76ers have felt a whole lot different than the losses to the Orlando Magic and Chicago Bulls. Those were all bad losses. Like really bad losses. Whether it was fourth-quarter collapses, or nonexistent defense, or stupid technicals, the issues were obvious and numerous during those defeats. However, both games vs. the 76ers gave fans a glimpse of how good this Wizards team that’s still figuring each other out can truly be. Twice now, they’ve gone toe-to-toe with the best in the East.
However, there’s no time for moral victories. The Wizards are 2-6. They’re 13th in the Eastern Conference standings. Sure, It’s great that they were able to come back from a 21-point deficit and even take the lead in the fourth quarter. Even though Beal was the star of the show, it can’t be ignored that the Wizards had one of their more impressive stretched, a 13-3 run to start the fourth quarter, without him.
Maybe if they hadn’t fallen into such a hole, though, and given up 82 points in the first half, then they would have been able to finish the 76ers off down the stretch. Or maybe if Scott Brooks had given more minutes to some of the team’s more defensive-minded players, they could have gotten even a single stop. Deni Avdija got four minutes in the second half. Isaac Bonga got zero minutes ALL GAME. Make it make sense!!
Beal said recently that the Wizards aren’t a team that can “flip on a switch.” Against, the 76ers, they had to turn it on fast in the second half after their atrocious start. Just as Beal predicted, it wasn’t enough.
Now, if the Wizards can only maintain the level of competitiveness they’ve shown against Philadelphia when they play teams not at the top of the standings then they might be able to turn this young season around. Maybe even string together a few wins? We can only hope.
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