Bradley Beal tied a Washington Wizards record and set a new career high with 60 points against the Philadelphia 76ers on Wednesday.
It still wasn’t enough to prevent a 141-136 loss.
Even with Beal going 20-of-35 from the field while chipping in seven rebounds and five assists, the Wizards lagged well behind the Sixers for much of the game. They managed to tie the game and even take the lead early in the fourth quarter, but that was the exact moment Beal started going quiet.
Beal appeared to tie Gilbert Arenas’ old franchise record with what looked like a 3-pointer to give the Wizards the lead, but a toe on the line meant he had only 59 points. Despite more than six minutes remaining in the game from there, he did not score another field goal for the rest of the game.
Beal was at least able to match the record with a free throw with four seconds left in the game, but he missed the second to stay in a tie with Arenas at 60.
The Wizards have done this to Bradley Beal before
If this feels like deja vu for Beal, it’s because he’s been in almost this exact situation before. In fact, he’s experienced it twice.
The first time was last February when Beal scored a career-high 53 points in a loss to the Chicago Bulls. The second time was ... one game later when Beal notched another career high with 55 points against the Milwaukee Bucks. Again, the Wizards lost, and Beal was soon receiving the drug test and box-and-1 treatment.
This is how ridiculous the disconnect was between Beal’s scoring and the Wizards’ success over that span:
Since Jan. 26, Beal is averaging 36.7 points per game across 13 games. In that span, the Wizards are somehow 6-7 despite only three of those games coming against teams over .500, with losses to the Cleveland Cavaliers, Atlanta Hawks and Golden State Warriors.
What’s more, Beal is averaging 31.2 points in those six wins and 41.4 points in the seven losses.
The arrival of Russell Westbrook was hoped to prevent a similar narrative from playing out this season. With the Wizards sitting at 2-6 and Beal now averaging a career-high 34.3 points per game, that idea may be going up in smoke.
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