In the second game of a road back-to-back, the Washington Wizards overcame an early double-digit deficit to defeat the Cavaliers 124-112 on Thursday night. For Bradley Beal, he picked up right where he left off the night before. The Panda scored 36 points, topping 30 points for the second consecutive night, on 15-22 (.681) shooting to go along with eight assists. The win snaps a five-game road losing streak for the Wizards.
Beal now has 10 games this season with at least 35 points and nine games with at least 35 points and five assists – trailing only James Harden, Trae Young and Luka Doncic on both lists. Beal, who scored 38 points on Wednesday night in Miami, becomes the fourth player this season to score 35 points in consecutive games at least three times.
BB feasted in the paint early, which helped him get off to an impressive start that featured 18-points and five-assists in the first half.
His standout night has fans abuzz, saying the Panda should not only be a 2020 NBA All-Star in Chicago, but also be a starter as well. In fact, Bradley Beal finished 8th in the overall list for Eastern Conference guards, but ranked second among the player vote.
After falling behind 18-6 in the first five minutes of the game, the Wizards shook off any lingering signs of fatigue from Wednesday night’s overtime game in Miami and mounted a quick comeback. A 13-0 run, started and finished by Thomas Bryant, took only three minutes and gave Washington a one-point lead with just under four minutes to go in the first quarter. The Wizards weren’t done there. After the Cavaliers regained the lead on a Larry Nance Jr. jumper, Washington went on a 21-6 run, capped off by a trio of Davis Bertans 3-pointers within 1:18 of each other. After trailing by 12 just minutes into the game, the Wizards now had a 14-point lead of their own with over 10 minutes left in the second quarter.
In similar fashion to last night’s contest, the Killer B’s of Beal and Bertans were potent on offense yet again. Bertans scored all 14 of his first-half points in the second quarter, including an and-one layup with 6:26 left in the second quarter that reclaimed Washington’s double-digit lead after the Cavaliers had whittled it down to six. After Bertans checked out with 3:22 on the clock, Beal led the Wizards into halftime, scoring seven points in the final 2:37 of the half and assisting on a late Ish Smith 3-pointer that gave Washington its seven-point halftime lead.
Bertans went on to finish the game with 17 points on 6-10 (.600) from the field and 4-8 (.500) from 3-point range. Bertans now has 16 games this season with at least four 3-pointers off of the bench, twice as many as the next-closest players on that list – Patty Mills and Terrence Ross each have eight.
Bertans’ success from behind the arc this season has not only earned him the nickname the “Latvian Laser,” but it has many Wiz fans advocating that Bertans should be joining Beal at the All-Star festivities himself – for the 3-point shooting contest.
Wizards who received All-Star votes from fellow players:
• Bradley Beal (70)
• Rui Hachimura (4)
• Davis Bertans (4)
• Troy Brown (3)
• John Wall (2)
• Isaiah Thomas (2)
• Isaac Bonga (2)
• Jordan McRae (1)
• Thomas Bryant (1)
— Fred Katz (@FredKatz) January 24, 2020
When do they announce the 3-point contest participants? Bertans is a lock, right?
— Alan Jenkins (@AJenks24) January 24, 2020
If he's not something is wrong
— DMVSPORTS (@dmvsports2015) January 24, 2020
After some fun halftime shenanigans with teammates, Beal was “revived” and got back to his offensive game plan.
Beal picked up in the third quarter where he left off in the first half, scoring 11 points on 4-6 (.667) shooting and a pair of assists. Cleveland had an answer for everything the Wizards threw at them early in the third, but an Isaiah Thomas 3-pointer set off a 14-2 run to extend the Washington lead to 20.
While the Cavs battled back, they were never a real threat to Washington’s 15 win of the season – a game that was special for Beal as he had the opportunity to suit up against Darius Garland from his AAU team and fellow Chaminade HS grad Tyler Cook. It was all love between the former teammates post-game.
In addition to Beal and Bertans, teammates Isaiah Thomas and Ish Smith also scored in double figures with 13 and 17 points respectively.
After two days off, the Wizards will continue their four-game road trip on Sunday night in Atlanta, taking on the Hawks (11-34) at 6:00 p.m. ET in the teams’ second matchup of the season. Washington topped Atlanta 111-101 on January 10, led by 29 points from Jordan McRae.