Bradley Beal and John Wall carried the Wizards to back-to-back victories over the weekend against the Orlando Magic and Brooklyn Nets.
The backcourt duo appears to be finding their rhythm now that both have been healthy for a few weeks.
Friday night against the Magic, both guards notched 30 points and combined for 16 assists en route to a 125-119 victory at Capital One Arena. Both guards scored efficiently against Orlando and did most of their damage inside.
The Panda shot 12-17 from the floor, while Wall finished 13-21 on the night, but Wall, not Beal, was the only one to knock down a three. As a team, the Wizards only made four three-pointers, including two from Kelly Oubre Jr. and one from Markieff Morris.
The Wizards dominated the Magic in the paint, outscoring them 74-52 from in close.
While the Wizards offense looked great, BB would’ve liked to have played some better defense on the night.
“I looked at the score, I said, ‘We really have 100 points each in the third quarter. Whoever plays defense first is gonna win the game,” said Beal. “That’s a no-brainer. We’ve got to do a better job of getting stops.”
Saturday night in Brooklyn, No. 3 kept the hot hand early, scoring 12 points in the first quarter and helping the Wiz race out to a 20-4 lead over the Nets.
Brad led all scorers in the game with 24 points, including four three-pointers, and dished out six assists and swiped three steals.
All five starters scored in double figures, as did Kelly Oubre Jr. off the bench, who added 17.
The Wizards outscored the Nets 21-12 in fastbreak points, which allowed Washington to get out and get easy buckets to build their lead.
Ultimately, the team made the game closer than it needed to be. After an impressive start that gave the Wiz a 20-point lead at halftime, Washington allowed Brooklyn to creep back into the game and force overtime.
“We had them down 20, which is crazy to think and believe that we gave up that type of lead,” said Beal.
Beal and Wall were able to make enough plays down the stretch to hold off the Nets for a win, and Brad said after the game that it is important for the Wizards to have multiple scoring threats at the end of games because it makes them that much harder to defend.
“It’s always great when John and I are both making shots down the stretch,” said Beal. “It just boosts our team that much higher, and it confuses the defense on who to guard, because we had a lot of guys in double figures tonight, a lot of guys who are capable of shooting and scoring, so when we’re both clicking, it makes it tough on the defense.”
In the win over Brooklyn, BB notched his 10th consecutive game with 20+ points and his 33rd of the season, which is the most among Eastern Conference guards. Kyrie Irving and DeMar DeRozan each have 32 such games.
The Wizards have now won eight of their last 11 games as they continue to climb in the Eastern Conference standings. They are currently tied with the Miami Heat for fourth place in the East and trail the defending Eastern Conference Champion Cleveland Cavaliers by only 1.5 games.
Next up for the Wiz is a daytime tilt versus Milwaukee at Capital One Arena on Monday, Martin Luther King Jr. Day, that tips off at 2pm ET.
Just the real deal, Bradley Beal@nbavote
— Enrique Fernandez (@eftpolicy) January 14, 2018