Bradley Beal had two strong nights out of the All-Star break, but unfortunately, they both came in losing efforts for the Washington Wizards.
Bradley went off for 40 points on 15-of-25 shooting from the field and 8-of-10 from the free throw line while adding two assists, four rebounds and two steals across 42 minutes Friday night against the Philadelphia 76ers. At home against the Utah Jazz two nights later, Brad registered 22 points on 9-for-16 shooting from the field, four assists and two rebounds.
However, the Wizards couldn’t turn BB’s performances into wins this weekend, falling 120-112 to the Sixers and 102-92 to the Jazz. They remain in the fourth seed in the Eastern Conference, just half a game behind the Toronto Raptors for the third seed entering play Tuesday.
BEAL HITS 40 AGAIN
Bradley opened his monster night in Philadelphia with the first bucket of the game on a driving layup with 11:03 to go in the first quarter and never stopped scoring.
With 5:02 to go in the second, No. 3 hit his first 3-pointer of the night to cut the 76ers lead to 43-41. With 3:18 to go in the half, he hit a gorgeous step back jumper over Dario Saric followed by a steal and breakaway dunk to keep the Wizards within striking distance.
With 9:25 to go in the third, teammate John Wall delivered a perfect lob to Brad on a back-door cut. Seven minutes later, Bradley drove past TJ McConnell for an and-one layup to increase his scoring output to 30 on the night. With 40 seconds left in the quarter, Beal rebounded a Philadelphia miss and dribbled up to the top of the arc for a transition three over Sergio Rodriguez.
Brad kept scoring in the paint most of the game, but the Wizards ultimately fell to the 76ers 120-112.
This marked BB’s third 40-point game this season, and his second in the last six contests.
BRAD LEADS 2ND-HALF RALLY
Back home against Utah, Bradley was held scoreless in the first half and finally connected on a 3-pointer with 4:20 left in the third to get the Wizards’ within 20 points. Three minutes later, he fed newcomer Bojan Bogdanovic for a layup in transition.
In the fourth, Bradley assisted on an Ian Mahinmi and-one before also connecting with Tomas Satoransky to cut the Jazz lead to 12 with nine minutes to play. With 7:05 to go, he finished a beautiful reverse layup over the Jazz’s imposing center Rudy Gobert. With 3:15 on the game clock, Brad came off a screen from Marcin Gortat while receiving the ball from Wall and elevated for a 3-pointer over Joe Ingles to cut the Utah lead to 93-85.
Unfortunately, the Wizards couldn’t quite complete the comeback.
And we back !!!
— Bradley Beal (@RealDealBeal23) February 23, 2017
Cook, Bradley Beal. Cook! pic.twitter.com/O12MSRk77e
— Bleacher Report NBA (@BR_NBA) February 25, 2017
Bradley Beal was going up for that dunk and some fan under the basket screamed "you suck" , Brad flexed at him and said "and-1 brotha"
— Jake Weingarten (@JakeWeinNBA) February 25, 2017
That's 4⃣️0⃣️-pt game No. 4 for Bradley Beal this season. pic.twitter.com/ow67CSkS36
— NBA on ESPN (@ESPNNBA) February 25, 2017
— Kenny Hundertpfund (@TheReallMVP) February 26, 2017
— Priority Sports (@PrioritySports) February 28, 2017
The Wizards will look to bounce back from consecutive losses to the 76ers and Jazz. It will be a tall task as their next game comes Tuesday, February 28 when they host DC area native Kevin Durant and the 50-9 Golden State Warriors.
Bradley looks forward to the test of matching up with the Warriors All-Star backcourt of Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson.
Tipoff in Washington is set for 7 p.m. ET.