Bradley Beal closed out the year strong, nearly notching a triple-double and leading the Wizards over the visiting Chicago Bulls on New Year’s Eve.
The Panda poured in 39 points, including seven three-pointers, and added nine assists and nine rebounds. Beal became the sixth player ever to record such numbers in a single NBA game.
Beal’s high-volume offensive night was matched in its efficiency as well. Brad shot 55% from the floor (16-29) and 53% from downtown (7-13) while dishing out nine assists compared to only two turnovers.
Brad was also committed to the defensive end, snagging two steals which helped the Wizards get easy buckets in transition.
Most important of all, Beal and the Wizards were clutch down the stretch in a close game against the resurgent Bulls.
The Bulls started the year losing 20 of their first 23 games of the season, but they righted the ship in December, posting a record of 10-2 from Dec. 8 to Dec. 29.
Chicago proved they weren’t going to go down easy in Capital One Arena on Sunday night. The Bulls led for much of the night after racing out to a 38-30 first quarter advantage and holding an eight-point lead early in the final period.
Then, No. 3 came up with one of his most impressive scoring outbursts of the season to date when the Wizards needed a spark, rattling off 15 straight points in the fourth quarter for the Wizards and leading the team to a 114-110 victory. BB scored 17 of his total 39 points in the fourth quarter.
“I didn’t even know that,” Beal said when asked about his fourth quarter performance. “That’s just being in the zone, being locked in.”
Brad’s performance frustrated Bulls coach Fred Hoiberg, much to the delight of Wizards fans.
“We were trying to get it out of his hands there for a stretch,” Hoiberg said. “But they did a good job finding him, seeking him out.”
After yet another All-Star caliber performance, The Panda earned praise from his teammates and coaches, but the team remains focused on their primary goal of winning games and making a postseason run. The game marked the 27th time this season that Beal eclipsed the 20 point mark.
“Brad’s an All-Star. I thought he was an All-Star last year,” Scott Brooks said. “If you win games and you play for each other, the individual awards come. If you focus on that, you focus on the wrong things. I’ve talked to Brad many times, and he’s not one time mentioned All-Star to me.”
Washington ended 2017 on a high note, with an outstanding performance from their backcourt duo. John Wall had 21 points, nine assists, six boards and four blocks, including a go-ahead three-point play with 29.4 seconds remaining.
With Beal and Wall healthy entering 2018, the Wizards have a lot to be thankful for, but they have a lot of work left to go to reach their goals.
“We’re very blessed, we have two guys in the backcourt that are All-Stars,” said Scott Brooks.
Next up for D.C. is the New York Knicks on Wednesday at 7PM ET.
— Zach Rosen (@ZacharySRosen) December 31, 2017
Imma be disappointed if Bradley Beal don’t make his first all-star game this year
— 19. (@Dreadhead_Ed_) January 2, 2018