Since shooting guard Bradley Beal returned to the starting lineup two weeks ago after a hamstring injury, he’s averaged nearly 27 points per game and the team has won three out of five games.
Beal, who scored a team high 31 points and made a career-high seven 3-pointers Monday, Nov. 28, helped lift the Washington Wizards to win their last four out six games in a 101-95 overtime victory against the Sacramento Kings before 12,571 at the Verizon Center in Northwest.
“I have to give the credit to [my teammates] because they did a terrific job of screening for me,” said Beal, who also grabbed six rebounds. John [Wall] did a great job of finding me. Our ‘bigs’ have and Otto [Porter Jr.], too, and all of the others guards as well…[in] getting me open to shoot with confidence and knock them down.”
Sacramento (7-11) ranks sixth in the NBA in allowing their opponents to make at least 10 three-pointers a game. Beal made seven of the Wizards 10 three’s.
“Brad once again was terrific,” Wizards head coach Scott Brooks said. “He really got himself open with his good strong setups and that’s something he’s been working on with us.”
Beal made two 3-pointers in the first few minutes of the game to help the Wizards sprint to a 12-4 lead.
Then came the turnovers.
In the first half, the Wizards committed 14 of the 23 turnovers combined by both teams that allowed the0 Kings to take a 53-50 lead at halftime.
The Wizards decreased their turnovers to nine in the second half and overtime, versus the Kings 11.
Wall’s college teammate and Kings all-star center DeMarcus Cousins scored 36 points and pulled down 20 rebounds in a losing effort. Cousins shot 16 of 34 from the floor, including a drive to the basket to tie the game at 92 with 10 seconds left in regulation.
The Kings traveled to D.C. from Brooklyn after they defeated the Brooklyn Nets on Sunday, Nov. 27, where Cousins recorded another double-double with 37 points and 11 rebounds.
Brooks said, even with those gaudy numbers Monday, Wizards center Marcin Gortat played Cousins well.
“It’s hard for me to say this because Cousins had 36 and 20, but Marcin did a great job on him,” Brooks said. “It took 34 shots to get those 36 points and probably four or five was just like, ‘Are you kidding me?’ He’s a great player. He’s an all-star…but I thought Marcin battled him throughout the game.”
Defensively, the Wizards parameter defense improved significantly, but the Kings also contributed to not making converting some open jump shots. The Kings shot only 3 for 21 from behind the arc and 41 percent for the game.
Meanwhile, Wall recorded a triple-double, sort of: 15 points, 11 assists, eight rebounds and 11 turnovers.
“Turnovers were just over-dribbling, trying to make passes to certain people. Those guys are pretty athletic and they deflected some of my passes,” he said. “We’re competing a lot better, being more aggressive. At some point in we’ll find a rhythm where everybody’s clicking and knocking down shots. Other than that, we just got to keep competing on the defensive end and giving ourselves a chance.”
The Wizards next three games are on the road, so the team will not return to the Verizon Center until Tuesday, Dec. 6 to face the Orlando Magic for the third time this season.