Cameron Browne/NBAE via Getty Images
Beal's career-high 51 powers Wizards past Blazers
Photos | Box Score
The Wizards needed to bounce back on Tuesday night in Portland in a big way. A night after what the team unanimously called an embarrassing loss in Utah, Bradley Beal stepped up and delivered exactly what Washington needed. Beal got hot early and never let up en route to a career-high 51 points that steadied the ship as the Wizards pulled away and toppled the Trail Blazers, 106-92.
"[I] came into the game with a mindset of being aggressive from start to finish, especially coming off the game last night and the way I played in the previous 4 or 5 games before that. I wasn't happy with it," Beal said after the game.
Beal got going quickly with 12 points in the first quarter that helped break his team out of a sluggish first five minutes and gave Washington a two-point lead through the first frame. From then on, it was off to the races. A 13-2 Wizards run in the second helped build up a 14-point lead at halftime thanks to Beal’s 19 points on 53 percent shooting at the break.
While he was the motor all night – logging over 43 minutes – Beal also noted postgame that defense created the opportunities for Washington throughout, and that was especially true in the first half. The Wizards had recorded 12 of their season-high 16 steals by the mid-way point, allowing them to crush Portland on the break on the night, 16-0.
It’s also important to note two key bench contributions that set the tone for the Wizards early. Both Kelly Oubre Jr. (14 points) and Mike Scott (10 points, seven rebounds) did the majority of their work in the first half to help keep Portland at bay. They did it efficiently too, with Scott hitting all five of his field goals on the night and Oubre shooting 6-of-9 from the floor.
After an 8-0 Wizards run kicked off the second half, Washington’s lead expanded to as wide as 23 points before a big 15-2 run from the Blazers cut their deficit down to 10 in the final five minutes of the third. Still, Beal stayed ultra-aggressive, knocking down an unconscious 8-of-11 in the frame en route to a 19-point quarter that kept the Wizards up by 13 heading into the fourth. Portland’s 10-0 run down the stretch was too little too late, as Beal put the finishing touches on his masterpiece with another 13 points capped by an emphatic fast-break slam in the waning seconds.
"Brad played an outstanding game on both ends of the floor," head coach Scott Brooks said. "He took a challenge of guarding one of the best guards in the league [too]."
Two games into a five-game road swing, the Wizards will now head to Phoenix to take on the Suns on Thursday night.
Odds and Ends
- Beal’s 51 points set a record for most points by a Portland opponent at Moda Center.
- While the Wizards’ 23 points off of 18 Blazers turnovers established a defensive identity on the night, Washington only turned the ball over 10 times itself.
- Otto Porter Jr. only scored two points on 1-of-8 shooting, but grabbed 10 rebounds and blocked a pair of shots.
- Tomas Satoransky quietly put together another very efficient night, scoring seven points to go with four rebounds and three assists.