In their first outing in front of home fans at Capital One Arena this season, Bradley Beal and the Washington Wizards did not disappoint, extending their season-best win streak to six games.
The Wizards (25-33) battled back from a late 11-point deficit to pull off a 118-114 victory over the Golden State Warriors (29-30).
Bradley Beal led the comeback with a blend of dynamic scoring around the rim and some playmaking as he scored seven points and two assists in the final three minutes of the game. His efforts allowed Washington to steal the lead in the final two minutes, after trailing for the latter stages of the game. Brad finished the game with 29 points and 10 rebounds for his fourth double-double of the season.
After the game, No. 3 talked about the effect the home crowd’s energy had on the team’s comeback.
“It definitely felt different, but it was exciting,” Brad said. “We need that energy, it’s an extra boost for us.”
Guided by the energy from having fans in the house for the first time, the Wizards started the game off firing on all cylinders, shooting 54.5 percent from the field as they took a 38-20 lead into the second quarter. The Warriors responded with a strong second quarter led by former Wizard Kelly Oubre Jr., whose 13 second-quarter points nearly brought the game to an even score at halftime.
Washington led 60-58 at the break, but Golden State carried their second-quarter momentum into the second half, and a 13-0 run midway through the third quarter gave them a 76-72 lead. The Warriors maintained that lead all the way up to the final minutes of the fourth quarter. But in the final minutes, Bradley Beal took over the game completely.
The Wizards were down 11 points with seven minutes left to go, but ran off a 9-0 run to cut the deficit to just two with 3:17 left in the game. From there, it became Beal’s show, as he drove to the lane with 2:44 left and finished through contact for a three-point play to make it a two-point game. 106-105. But the Warriors still held a slim lead. Brad put that to rest on the next two possessions, first with another trip to the line for a pair of free throws and then, after a D.C. stop, with an assist to Davis Bertans on a trey that gave Washington the lead with two minutes left.
Brad added another layup with 55 seconds left to make it a four-point Wizards lead, but it would be another assist to Bertans with 26 seconds left that proved to be the final dagger in the heart of the Warriors. On that play, Brad forced three defenders to collapse on him towards the right baseline before firing a pass to an open Bertans in front of the basket for an easy lay-in.
With the win, the Wizards now have sole possession of the 10-seed in the East as they continue to fight for a spot in the playoffs. They’ll play again Friday, April 23 as they take on the Oklahoma City Thunder at 8:00 p.m.
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