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Wizards fall to Warriors despite 43 points from Beal
The Wizards (17-32) were defeated 125-117 by the Warriors (12-39) Monday night at Capital One Arena. The loss came despite 43 points from Bradley Beal, who led a comeback that came up short in the game’s final minutes. Beal scored 15 points in the fourth quarter, bringing Washington within five after trailing by as many 17 in the game’s final frame.
“We didn't come out to play with the right mindset,” Wizards head coach Scott Brooks said. “(Golden State) plays hard. They're a lot like us. They played hard but tonight we didn't. We didn't have that. We didn't have the right mindset.”
Over his last seven games, Beal is averaging 38.8 points and has scored at least 34 points in each outing. Beal now has seven games this season with at least 40 points, the third-highest mark in the league.
In his first game back after missing the last 23 games with a groin injury, Rui Hachimura came out aggressively, scoring four early points, and just missing on another two on what would have been a highlight-reel baseline dunk over a Warriors defender. Hachimura was effective, scoring 11 points and grabbing eight rebounds.
“(Hachimura’s play) was a bright spot,” Brooks said. “Brad [Beal] obviously had a great game, but Rui came in [his] first game in a couple of months, I thought he played like you're supposed to play.”
Moritz Wagner also made his return to the court, concluding what had been a 25-game absence with a sprained left ankle. Wagner played only 12 minutes, but made the most of them, scoring eight points on 4-5 (.800) shooting.
The long-awaited returns of Hachimura and Wagner, while providing the Wizards some much-needed depth, create a bit of a rotational puzzle that Brooks acknowledged may take few games to solve. Three first quarter fouls for Ian Mahinmi made that puzzle a little easier, at least for Monday night. Mahinmi’s foul trouble created more opportunity for Hachimura, Davis Bertans and Thomas Bryant, all of whom played over 25 minutes.
Bertans, who was a game-time decision due to neck stiffness, scored 19 points, hitting 5-7 (.714) from 3-point range.
The Wizards shot 65.2% from the field en route to 36 first quarter points, but were outdone by the Warriors, who scored 40 thanks to 13 points from Alec Burks and a 7-9 (.777) performance from beyond the arc as a team. Washington shot just 7-21 (.333) in the second quarter, but got 13 points from Beal to keep the game within single digits at halftime.
Three of those 13 second quarter points made for a bit of history, elevating Beal to third place on the franchise’s all-time scoring list, passing John Wall.
After the Wizards tied the game at 61 apiece with 1:59 left in the first half, the Warriors went on a 21-4 run that spanned into the first few minutes of the third quarter. Golden State maintained a double-digit lead throughout the rest of the third quarter and the early stages of the fourth.
Down 17 with 8:59 to go, Beal checked into the game and unleashed an 8-0 run of his own, hitting a mid-range jumper, a three and an and-one layup to cut the lead to single digits. The run took just 80 seconds off the clock and was capped by his 10th free throw of the night, giving him five straight games with 10-plus free throws made. Three minutes later, Beal scored five points in a 20-second span to bring the Wizards within five. Washington, however, couldn’t get any closer. Down eight with under a minute to go, Glenn Robinson III grabbed an offensive rebound off a Burks miss and converted on a put-back layup to seal the game.
The Wizards are now off until a pair of home games this weekend – Friday at 7:00 P.M. against the Mavericks (31-19) and Sunday at 6:00 P.M. against the Grizzlies (25-25).