Beal wills Wizards to overtime with gutty 50-point performance originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington
Bradley Beal stood on the sideline at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in immense pain and could only watch.
He put up 50 points and did everything he possibly could to keep the Wizards in the game. But as the game wound down, he was helpless on the sideline.He rolled his ankle in the first moments of the second half. And down the stretch, he tweaked his hamstring and was unable to play the overtime period and the final possession of regulation. But that didn’t stop him from scoring a game-high 50 points to lead the Wizards when they needed it most — which as it turns out, needed to be in regulation. Because without him, that's where the game would've ended.
Even though he missed overtime, the Wizards earned a hard-fought 133-132 win over the Pacers and moved to 9th in the Eastern Conference standings.
“Brad, I mean, we didn’t have much tonight,” coach Scott Brooks said. “For some reason, we were flat. They play a lot of small lineups and fast. This team is fast, and Brad kept us in the game with his ability to score. You can’t guard him by yourself, that’s been proven the last three years. People have double-teamed him for two straight years and he’s averaged over 30 points a game. The last couple of games, they were putting three guys on him. He’s that good, he’s an All-NBA player.”
Beal’s 50 points came on a night when Russell Westbrook, the man of the hour, added 33 points of his own in addition to tying Oscar Robertson’s all-time triple-double record.
But outside of that, the Wizards’ next leading scorer was Rui Hachimura (13 points) followed by Davis Bertans (10 points). No other Wizard reached double-digit points.
“We have two amazing guards that lead us every night,” Brooks said. “What they do for us is obviously important, but how they teach our younger players, how to prepare, is as important because that’s going to really help us as we get more experienced throughout the years. The foundation of every young player is important.”
So, with a stagnant offense, Beal took over and scored 50 of the team’s 124 points in regulation. He surely would’ve totaled more than 50 had it not been for the injury that kept him out for the final five minutes of extra time.
His parents were in attendance, and Beal said he wanted to make sure they saw him put on a show.
“I had the honor of having my parents at the game tonight, they drove up three or four hours,” Beal said. “The last thing I wanna do is waste their damn time and watch me play like ass. My mom wouldn’t let me live that down. I always have fun and play hard when she’s in town, so I give this one to them.”
The story of Saturday’s game will fall with Westbrook, who didn’t prolong the inevitable and tied Robertson’s triple-double record with the 181st of his career. With four games left to play this season, it’s a near guarantee he’s going to set a new mark in the final week of play.
But without Beal, it’s likely Saturday’s game wouldn’t have been as joyful for Westbrook and the Wizards.
“That was pretty special,” guard Ish Smith said. “For him to go down, first and foremost he went down at the beginning of the second half and we didn’t know if we were gonna be able to get him back. But he put his body on the line, came back and had a heroic performance. I mean he had a 50-ball. That was special. I don’t think we win this game if he doesn’t play as well, if he doesn't play.”