In their first game back in The District after a tough road trip, the Washington Wizards (16-31) defeated the Charlotte Hornets (16-31) 121-107 on Thursday night. With the win, Washington has now won five of their last six games at Capital One Arena. Bradley Beal led the way for Washington with 34 points, nine rebounds and nine assists – his fifth consecutive game with 30-plus points and five-plus assists.
Hours prior to the game, the 2020 All-Star lineups were announced, and Beal was surprisingly not among the names on the list. Despite not making the Eastern Conference team this year, the two-time All Star kept his recent hot streak going against the Hornets, shooting 6-of-12 from deep and 14-of-15 from the free throw line.
Bradley Beal is averaging 28.6 PPG and wasn’t selected as an All-Star.
— NBA on ESPN (@ESPNNBA) January 31, 2020
Bradley Beal is the third leading scorer in the Eastern Conference behind MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo and Trae Young. He did not make the All-Star game despite averaging 28.6 points, 6.3 assists, and 4.4 rebounds.
— Hoop District (@HoopDistrictDC) January 30, 2020
“He’s hard to stop,” Wizards head coach Scott Brooks said of Beal postgame. “He’s been attacking the last five or six games now. He’s been getting to the cup and making plays, and we’ve got to keep doing that. He had a great game…Brad made a lot of winning plays on both ends.”
Saying that No. 3 has been just “hard to stop” is a bit of an understatement.
In his last five games, Beal is averaging 39.0 points, 6.8 assists and 4.6 rebounds per game and shooting 53.7 percent from the field and 40.5 percent from 3-point range. Beal finished the night 14-15 (.933) from the free throw line, becoming the first Wizards player since John Wall in 2013 to attempt over 50 free throws in a three-game span.
After both the Wizards and the Hornets gave tribute to recently fallen Lakers legend Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gianna “Gigi” Bryant will a moment of silence and a video, the game got underway.
The Red, White and Blue started slowly, shooting just 6-20 (.300) from the field, while the Hornets had no trouble finding the bottom of the basket. Charlotte shot 53.6 percent from the field and 50 percent from three-point range as Terry Rozier, P.J. Washington and Miles Bridges combined for 23 first quarter points. However, the Panda kept Washington alive with a monster first stanza – totaling 15 points, three rebounds and three assists in the game’s first 12 minutes.
Beal carried his hot start to the second quarter as well, adding another seven points within the first four minutes of the second frame. But, a 10-2 Hornets run that took just over two minutes swung the lead back to double digits late in the first half.
Bradley Beal has 22 points in 16 minutes.
Sounds like an All-Star to us. pic.twitter.com/ncAO3oLjN9
— Washington Wizards (@WashWizards) January 31, 2020
In the second half, the game swung in the Wizards favor when their defense locked in, holding the Hornets to just 19 points on 26.1 percent shooting – and just five points total between 6:50 in the third quarter and 10:57 in the fourth. From there, both Charlotte and Washington authored offensive spurts of their own, ultimately culminating with the Wizards’ 24-14 run that put Washington up 18 in the game’s final minutes. And, BB was feeling himself as he got the better of his Hornets opponent tonight.
Right before he got a technical, Bradley Beal appears to tell Malik Monk: ‘You can’t guard me. You can’t guard me. I’ve got 30 bruh.’
Then he sank a free throw. pic.twitter.com/QNf3zILfVh
— Chase Hughes (@ChaseHughesNBCS) January 31, 2020
In the end, Washington got the win and that’s what matters most, but post-game teammate Isaiah Thomas expressed his displeasure that the Panda will miss the All-Star festivities in the Windy City.
Bradley too – was frustrated by the surprising snub – but made it clear he wouldn’t let frustrations fester and will continue to give his all to help rack up wins for his squad because that is the ultimate goal.
“I know how I am, [so] I was kind of expecting it, honestly,” Beal said. “It’s disrespectful, but the real ones know [that I’m an All-Star]. I’ll just keep competing. I’m going to try to get my team in the playoffs for sure.”
The Wizards are back at Capital One Arena on Saturday, hosting the Brooklyn Nets (20-26) at 8:00 p.m. ET in the teams’ first meeting of the season.