Beal drops career-high 51 to lift Wizards past Blazers
The Washington Wizards rolled into Portland on Tuesday to play the second half of a road back-to-back, 24 hours after being served the franchise's most lopsided loss in 47 years - a 116-69 humbling at the hands of the Utah Jazz.
The Wizards were still without injured All-NBA point guard John Wall, and in the four games he'd missed before Tuesday, they had the NBA's fourth-worst offense. They were facing a Trail Blazers team whose defense ranked as the league's fourth best. In short, they needed a spark. Bradley Beal gave them a full-on inferno.
Beal lit up the Blazers for a career-high 51 points, accounting for nearly half the Wizards' scoring total to drag them to a 106-92 bounce-back win.
In had a game in which no other Wizards starter scored more than eight points, and the starting lineup collectively shot 7-of-30 from the field, Beal made pull-up jumper after pull-up jumper, beat defenders off the bounce time and again, attacked out of the pick-and-roll, split double teams to get into the paint, and left anyone who tried to stay in front of him lunging at air. He shot 21-of-37 from the field and 5-of-12 from 3-point range, committing just two turnovers across 43 minutes.
Beal's previous career high was 42 points, which he set just over a year ago in a win over the Phoenix Suns. His 51 ties him with Gilbert Arenas and Michael Jordan for the seventh-highest single-game output in franchise history.
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