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By the numbers: Beal, Westbrook score big in win over Jazz
On Thursday, the Wizards snapped a five-game losing streak and earned a 131-122 win over the league-leading Jazz. It was the team’s highest-scoring game in over a month, led by 78 combined points from Bradley Beal and Russell Westbrook, and snapped an extended losing streak against Utah. Below, we take a look at the win by the numbers.
BEAL GOES OFF…AGAIN
Beal led the way for the Wizards with 43 points on 16-24 (.667) shooting, 4-6 (.667) from three and 7-8 (.875) from the free throw line and added five assists in 39 minutes of action. No one in the NBA has more 30- or 40-point games than Beal this season. He now has 24 games with at least 30 points this season, tied with Damian Lillard for the most in the NBA and five games with at least 40 points, tied with Lillard and Joel Embiid for the top spot.
The Wizards’ win snapped an 11-game losing streak in games that Beal scored 40-plus points, including four losses this season. The losing streak in Beal’s 40-point games dated back to December 3, 2019 against Orlando.
BRAD’S BIG SECOND HALF
Beal’s big night was driven by a massive second half. After scoring just 13 through two quarters, Beal went off for 30 points in the third and fourth. It was the third time this season Beal has scored 30-plus points in a half and the seventh time he’s done so in his career, the most in franchise history. Beal (7), Gilbert Arenas (4), John Wall (2) and Michael Jordan (1) are the only players in franchise history to have accomplished the feat.
Beal went back and forth with Utah’s Donovan Mitchell, who totaled 33 points of his own in the second half. It marked the first time since March 3, 2019 that two players scored 30-plus points in the second half of the same game. Coincidentally, that game also included Mitchell, whose 31 second half points outpaced Giannis Antetokounmpo’s 30 in a close win over Milwaukee.
RUSS STUFFS THE STAT SHEET
While Beal led the way in scoring, Westbrook’s 35-point, 15-rebound, 13-assist stat line carved out a spot in the Wizards’ record book. Westbrook became the first player in franchise history with at least 35 points, 15 rebounds and 10 assists in a game, according to @NBAHistory. It also marked the second time this season he has recorded a triple-double with at least 35 points.
Westbrook’s 13 triple-doubles this season (in just 33 games) puts him two triple-doubles away from tying Darrell Walker for the most total triple-doubles in team history. Westbrook has a triple-double in each of his last two games and three of his last four.
WESTBROOK CONTINUES HOT STREAK
From December-February, Westbrook averaged 19.9 points per game on 42.4% from the field, but has seen a spike in scoring and shooting efficiency since the calendar turned over to March. Including Thursday night’s showing against the Jazz, Westbrook is averaging 27.6 points per game on 48.8% shooting in the last eight games. Two of his three highest-scoring games of the season – his 35 points against Utah and his 42 points against Milwaukee – have come in the last week, both of which were triple-doubles.
Thursday’s game also marked a continuation of Westbrook’s spiking assist numbers. He dished out 13 assists against the Jazz, his sixth game this season with 13-plus assists and his third in March.
BACKCOURT DUO SETS SCORING MILESTONE
Beal and Westbrook combined to score 78 points against the Jazz, just two shy of the most they’ve combined for this season. Their 80-point night on January 6, however, was driven primarily by Beal’s career-high 60 points. Thursday marked the second time this season both Beal and Westbrook have scored 35-plus points in the same game. They’re the first pair of teammates to score 35-plus points in the same game twice in a season since Westbrook and Kevin Durant did so in 2012-13 with Oklahoma City. Westbrook and Beal become the first pair of Wizards teammates to do so since Terry Dischinger and Walt Bellamy in 1962-63, per Elias Sports Bureau.
WIZARDS END SLIDE VS. JAZZ
Washington’s win over Utah put an end to a pair of losing streaks. The Wizards snapped a five-game slide to start the second half of the season – their second five-game losing streak of the season – and a nine-game losing streak against the Jazz. Washington had not won against Utah since February 18, 2016. The Wizards’ 131 points were the most they have ever scored against the Jazz and marked just the second time since 1997 they scored more than 120 points in a game against Utah.
The Wizards’ 131-point performance was their seventh game this season with at least 130 points, trailing only the Bucks and Nets, and their 16th such game since the start of last season, trailing only the Bucks and Clippers. Perhaps more impressive than the end total was the consistency they showed en route to that number. The win over the Jazz marked the first time this season the Wizards scored 30-plus points in all four quarters and the first time since January 26, 2020 they have accomplished the feat, per Elias Sports Bureau.
INSIDE THE ARC
The Wizards’ explosive offensive night came by way of a conservative 3-point shooting approach – at least relative to modern NBA norms. Washington shot 7-17 (.412) from deep, becoming just the second team since the start of the 2019-20 season to score 130-plus points in a game making seven or fewer 3-pointers (regulation only).
Stats and research: Wizards Communications, NBA Stats, Elias Sports Bureau and Basketball Reference