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Recap: Wizards win 131-116 over Magic in Beal's return
FINAL: Wizards 131 | Magic 116
Wizards: Bradley Beal (26), Russell Westbrook (23), Davis Bertans (22)
Magic: Terrence Ross (24), Mo Bamba (19), Wendell Carter Jr. (15)
The Wizards defeated the Magic 131-116 on Wednesday night in Orlando. In his first game back after a five-game absence, Bradley Beal scored a game-high 26 points to lead three Wizards scoring 20-plus points. Terrence Ross led the way for the Magic with 24 points. With the win, Washington snapped a six-game losing streak to Orlando.
The Wizards led by one after a back-and-forth first quarter. After leading by four points in the first couple minutes of the game, Washington gave up an 11-2 run led by Michael Carter-Williams. The Wizards countered with a run of their own, scoring 10 consecutive points to take a five-point lead with four minutes left in the opening frame. The Wizards’ offense dialed it up in the second quarter, shooting 12-21 (.571) from the field and 7-9 (.778) from deep, led by 10 points from Beal and 16 bench points. Threes from Garrison Mathews and Raul Neto sparked an 11-0 run to give Washington a 45-35 lead with 9:35 left in the second quarter. After a Magic run cut the lead back down to one, the Wizards outscored them 24-12 over the final five minutes of the first half and led 73-60 at the break.
Up by 12 mid-way through the third quarter, Beal and Davis Bertans hit threes on three consecutive Wizards possessions, extending their lead to 21 points with 3:39 left in the third quarter. Washington, however, scored just four more points the rest of the quarter as Orlando began to mount a comeback. A 15-2 run cut the lead to eight in the final seconds of the third quarter and down to four on an R.J. Hampton 3-pointer early in the fourth quarter. That was as close as Orlando got to overtaking Washington’s lead. With 5:46 left in the game, Beal scored on a layup to spark a 16-2 run that put the Wizards up 20 with two minutes to go, sealing the win.
THREE THINGS TO KNOW
Wizards ride season-best shooting performance to win
The Wizards’ offense was propelled by a season-best 3-point shooting performance against the Magic, highlighted by Bertans, who hit 6-11 (.545) from beyond the arc. Bertans has now hit three-plus threes in all three of his games since returning from a right calf injury. It was the seventh time this season Bertans has hit at least five threes in a game. Monday against Toronto, Washington was unable to take a strong first half performance from beyond the arc and carry it over into the second. Against the Magic, the Wizards weren’t able to keep up their 11-15 (.733) first half 3-point shooting rate, but still knocked down another eight after halftime. Bertans (6) was joined by Deni Avdija (4), Beal (4) and Westbrook (3) in hitting at least three 3-pointers against the Magic.
The Wizards’ 57.6% shooting percentage set a new season high in the category, topping their 55.6% set against the Pacers last week. From deep, Washington shot 19-36 (.528) from deep, setting a new season high in 3-point makes and finishing one shy of tying the franchise’s all-time record.
Westbrook hit another triple-double milestone
With 23 points, 14 rebounds and 15 assists, Russell Westbrook tallied his 20th triple-double of the season and now has triple-doubles in nine of his last 12 games. After nearly recording a triple-double in the first half on Monday night, Westbrook nearly did the same in the second half against the Magic, amassing 10 points, eight rebounds and nine assists. He’s now recorded 20-plus triple-doubles in a season four times, trailing only Oscar Robertson for the most such seasons in NBA history (5) and sits 15 triple-doubles behind Robertson for the most in NBA history. Only nine active players have recorded 20 triple-doubles in their entire career. In addition to the volume, Westbrook’s triple-double pace this season has been historic. His 20th triple-double of the season in just his 43rd game, the third-fastest pace in NBA history. Oscar Robertson accomplished the feat in 32 games in 1961-62 and Westbrook did so in 42 games in 2016-17.
Beal, Hachimura impactful in returns from injury
Beal’s game-high 26 points came after missing five consecutive games with a right hip contusion. He wasted no time getting back into the swing of things, scoring the Wizards’ first points of the game and 16 total in the first half, shooting 7-11 (.636) overall and 2-2 (1.000) from three. Beal played 30 minutes, fewer than his average rate, but was one of just three Wizards to play more than 30 minutes on Wednesday night. Beal wasn’t the only key starter making a return from injury – Rui Hachimura was back in action after missing the last two games with right shoulder tightness. He scored just nine points, but impacted the game in other ways, totaling seven rebounds, two assists, three steals and finishing with a plus-12 rating in 30 minutes.
NEXT UP: Wizards at Warriors / Friday, April 9 / 10:00 P.M. / Chase Center
HIGHLIGHT OF THE NIGHT