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Beal's top 10 performances of the season so far
In what has been the best season of his eight-year career, Bradley Beal has taken his game and his standing in the league to a new level. He’s made franchise history, breaking a 58-year record with a 21-game streak of 25-point games and moving into second place on the team’s all-time scoring list. He’s made league history, becoming the first player in 13 years to score 50-plus points on back-to-back nights. And he’s served as the leader and the voice of a young a developing Wizards core.
Beal has 31 games with at least 30 points, 10 with at least 40 points, a pair of 50-point games and has been held under 20 points just seven times. He’s been one of the league’s prime sources of highlights on a night-by-night basis and ranks second in the league in scoring, averaging over 30.0 points per game.
Here, we take a look at his best 10 performances of the season so far.
10. March 1, 2020 at Golden State34 PTS / 8 AST / 5 STL / 7-9 (.778) 3P
Beal’s breaking of Walt Bellamy’s 58-year franchise record came on the night of the team’s most prolific shooting performance of the season. Beal scored 34 points, his 18th straight game with at least 25 points, breaking a tie with Bellamy for the longest such streak in franchise history. As a team, the Wizards shot 20-30 (.667) from 3-point range, tying a franchise record for threes made in a single game and setting a new season high for 3-point percentage. Beal hit 7-9 (.778) from beyond the arc and joined Davis Bertans, who hit eight triples, to become the first teammates in franchise history with at least seven 3-pointers in the same game. Beal scored his first points of the night on a 3-pointer less than a minute into the game and went on to hit his first of five threes of the night. Beal accounted for 22 of the Wizards’ first 32 points of the game and led Washington to a double-digit lead it sustained for most of the game’s early going.
9. February 3, 2020 vs. Golden State43 PTS / 6 AST / 10-10 (1.000) FT
Beal’s 43-point game against the Warriors was his seventh game with at least 40 points and his seventh straight game with at least 34 points. Beal hit all 10 of his free throws, including six in the second quarter. With the Wizards down by as many as 17 points in the fourth, Beal scored 15 of his 43 points in the final frame, bringing Washington back within five points with less than five minutes to go. 13 of his 15 fourth quarter points came in a span of less than four minutes. In the fourth quarter alone, he was 5-7 (.714) from the field and 2-3 (.667) from 3-point range and hit all three of his free throws.
8. January 28, 2020 at Milwaukee47 PTS / 6 AST / 17-18 (.944) FT
Beal led the way for the Wizards in a road matchup with the league-leading Bucks, scoring 40-plus points for the second game in a row and 35-plus points for the fourth consecutive game. At the time, the 47-point showing marked his highest scoring output of the season. Beal went 17-18 (.944) from the stripe against the Bucks, topping his newly set career high for free throws made and matching his high in attempts. He was 14-15 (.933) from the line in the first half alone, becoming the first Wizards player since Gilbert Arenas in 2007 to hit 14 free throws in a single half.
7. January 30, 2020 at Charlotte34 PTS / 9 REB / 9 AST / 14-15 (.933) FT
Two days after his 47-point game against the Bucks and just hours after news broke that Beal was not selected as an All-Star, he put on a do-it-all performance in a dominant win against the Hornets. Beal scored 34 points, hitting over 50.0% from 3-point range and got to the free throw line 15 times, his third of four consecutive games with at least 15 free throw attempts. And the scoring was just the start. Beal finished just one rebound and one assist shy of a triple-double. While the Wizards as a whole struggled from the field, shooting just 30.0% in the first quarter, Beal came out hot to keep them within reach. Washington pulled away in the second and third quarter, so much so that Beal played only five minutes in the fourth. Postgame, Wizards head coach Scott Brooks noted that Beal likely would have notched his firth triple-double of the season had the game been more competitive.
“If I didn't take him out he probably would have had it, but he's not about that,” Brooks said. “He's about putting ourselves in a position to win and play well. He's hard to stop. He's been attacking the last five or six games now. He's been getting to get into the cup and making plays, and we've got to keep doing that. He had a great game.”
Hornets forward Miles Bridges spoke postgame about just how Beal’s ability to do a little bit of everything makes him so hard to stop.
“I think his passing is underrated,” Bridges said. “We were trying to trap the ball screens and he was just finding everybody and making it easy for them to score. He's getting to the rack, getting fouls, I think he shot like 15 free throws. He pretty much killed us in every way – making threes, making mid-range. He had a great game tonight.”
6. February 28, 2020 at Utah42 PTS / 5 REB / 10 AST
Beal’s 42-point game against the Jazz made a couple marks in the Wizards’ history book. It was his 17th consecutive game with at least 25 points, tying the longest streak in franchise history set by Walt Bellamy during the 1961-62 season. Additionally, the game was the third of his career with at least 40 points, 10 assists and five rebounds. Beal is the only player in franchise history with multiple such games in his career.
After the game, when asked about his passing, Beal said that his assist numbers have as much to do with the trust he has in his teammates as it does his court vision or skill.
“I trust everybody in here,” Beal said. “Everybody’s getting better by the day. Everybody puts the work in. I get double teamed a lot and I’m not a selfish player. So if I see a guy open, I’m going to throw it to him and hopefully he shoots it with confidence. Those are where the assists come from.”
5. November 13, 2019 at Boston44 PTS / 5 REB / 6 AST / 17-27 (.629) FG
In a high-scoring, back-and-forth matchup with the Celtics, Beal put up his second game of the season with at least 40 points, five rebounds and five assists. Beal shot 17-27 (.629) from the field and 4-6 (.667) from 3-point range, both among his top five shooting performances of the season in each category. He did most of his damage in the first half, scoring 24 points, but scored 13 points in the fourth quarter to spark a Washington run that cut the lead from 16 points to four in just over two minutes.
4. October 30, 2019 vs. Houston46 PTS / 8 REB / 6 AST / 14-20 (.700) FG / 7-12 (.583) 3P
Just one week into the season, the Wizards and Rockets put on what still holds up as one of the best games of the NBA season, a 159-158 shootout at Capital One Arena. The game marked the first time since 1990 that both teams combined to score 150-plus points in regulation. While James Harden’s 59 points and Russell Westbrook’s triple-double carried the Rockets, it was Beal that led the way for Washington in what was his first true breakout game of his career-best season.
Beal scored 46 points on a season-best 70.0% from the field and 7-12 (.583) from 3-point range. After scoring just four points in the first quarter, Beal exploded for 16 in the second, shooting 6-6 (1.000) from the field and 2-2 (.1000) from deep, helping the Wizards erase a 10-point deficit in the final five minutes of the second quarter and take a lead into halftime. Beal turned it back on in the fourth quarter, scoring 17 points, nine of which came from the free throw line, as both teams combined for 89 points in the final frame.
Beal’s 46 points were the most points scored in a home opener in franchise history.
3. November 15, 2019 at Minnesota44 PTS / 3 REB / 10 AST / 15-22 (.682) FG
Beal tallied his second double-double of the season in what still stands as the Wizards’ most dominant win of the season by scoring margin. Beal totaled 44 points and 10 assists, his second straight game with at least 40 points, leading Washington to a 137-116 win over Minnesota. Beal hit just 1-5 (.200) 3-pointers, but was 14-17 (.823) from inside the arc and hit 13-14 (.928) free throws. Beal scored 26 points in the second half and started a late fourth quarter run that took the Wizards’ lead from eight points to 23 in a matter of minutes.
Beal’s showing was his second of five consecutive games with at least 30 points, his first of many multi-game hot streaks this season.
“I feel like I'm the best player on the floor,” Beal said after the win. “Just keep that mentality. Just keep being aggressive and keep shooting. The hoop looks like it's big enough to fit four or five basketballs in it. That's where I'm at right now.”
2. February 23, 2020 at Chicago53 PTS / 5 REB / 4 AST
In the first of two consecutive 50-point games, Beal did a little bit of everything against the Bulls. On his way to a then-career-high 53 points, Beal shot 15-27 (.555) from the field, 5-11 (.454) from deep and set career highs in free throws and free throw attempts, shooting 18-20 (.900) from the stripe.
The Wizards entered the fourth quarter down 16 when Beal turned it on. He scored 21 of his 53 points in nine minutes of action in the fourth quarter, bringing the Wizards back within seven points. While the comeback fell short, Beal managed to make a bit of history in the fourth. With 10:02 left in the fourth quarter, Beal hit a pair of free throws to move in to second place on the franchise’s all-time scoring list, passing Jeff Malone.
1. February 24, 2020 vs. Milwaukee55 PTS / 3 AST / 8-13 (.615) 3P
After scoring a career-high 53 points just one night prior against the Bulls, Beal managed to top the performance. Against the league-leading Bucks, Beal set a new career high with 55 points on 19-33 (.575) from the field, 8-13 (.615) from 3-point range and 9-10 (.900) from the free throw line as the Washington fell to Milwaukee in overtime. Beal became the first player in franchise history to record consecutive 50-point games and the first player in the league to do it on back-to-back nights since Kobe Bryant in 2007.
“[He's a] special player,” Brooks said of Beal postgame. “[He's a] special player doing everything that he can possibly do to keep putting us in a position to have success…He does it time and time again.”
Against the Bucks, Beal and the Wizards were without sharpshooter Davis Bertans, putting even more of the scoring load on Beal’s shoulders. Beal totaled just 15 points in the first two quarters while Washington trailed by double digits at the half. In the third quarter, Beal scored 11 points, but Milwaukee extended its lead. Beal checked back into the game with just under eight minutes remaining and the Wizards down by 10 and proceeded to rip off perhaps his most impressive scoring streak of the entire season. Over the final 7:50 of regulation, Beal scored 22 points on 8-11 (.727) from the field and 4-4 (1.000) from 3-point range to pull the Wizards back into the game and force overtime. Beal scored seven points in overtime to push him over the 50-point mark and past his 53-point career high set the night prior.
“I was just locked in and I was having fun,” Beal said of the regulation-ending stretch. “It was definitely the most fun game I've ever played in.”