For the first time all season, the Washington Wizards held an opponent under 100 points on Sunday. It’s no coincidence, then, that they got one of their biggest wins of the season over the Boston Celtics.
Bradley Beal scored 35 points on 10-of-18 from the field, grabbed seven rebounds, dished out five assists and secured two steals as Washington topped Boston 104-91.
“We were just locked in, from the practice we had yesterday and coming in today,” Brad said. “We knew who we were playing. We knew what was at stake. We could come out lackadaisical and be down 30 early, or we can be ready to go and battle from the jump. We came out and played our game. Everybody stuck to their roles and competed at a high level, accepted the challenges on the defensive end from Jalen [Brown], Jayson [Tatum] and Kemba [Walker] and we tried to make it as tough as we possibly could. And we did that.”
After missing just his second game of the season on Friday, Brad appeared rejuvenated in Sunday’s victory. He opened the game red-hot, knocking down 5-of-6 from the field in a 12-point opening frame. By halftime he had 18 points and the Wizards led by 12.
“It was a mental unwind, it was a physical unwind. My body was a little beat up. It’s always good to be able to get away from the game for a minute,” Beal said. “I put so much pressure on myself to do well, try to be the best I can possibly be, try to come out to win every game. I just needed a little break. You can’t do everything by yourself.”
Brad certainly didn’t do it by his lonesome on Sunday, as the D.C. defense also seemed sparked by his return and made things difficult on Boston all night in their best overall effort of the season. After limiting the Celtics to just 43 first half points, Washington kept it up in the third, holding Boston to just 24 points while tallying 34 of their own, including 14 from No. 3. After three quarters they held a commanding 22-point lead, and even a resurgent fourth from the Celtics wasn’t nearly enough as the Wizards cruised to victory.
Washington will be right back to it on Monday as former Wizard John Wall makes his return to D.C. as an opponent for the first time when the Houston Rockets come to town.
“It’s the Wizards versus Houston, we’re past that,” Beal said. “I think it would be different for fans to be in the building, for them to be able to show their love for John.”
Tip-off from D.C. is slated for 7 p.m. ET and the game can be seen on NBC Sports Washington.