In a roller coaster of a game that featured double-digit leads for both teams, the Wizards blew up for a 68 point second half. They didn’t relinquish the lead after regaining it early in the fourth quarter.
The Wizards were hot early. They jumped out to an 18-4 lead in the first four minutes of the game. Rui Hachimura broke his slump with the first bucket of the game, and all the Wizards were getting involved. They were playing inspired basketball on both sides of the court.
Things changed in a hurry. From the eight-minute mark of the first quarter until halftime, the Knicks outscored the Wizards 66-40. The second quarter was a disaster. The Wizards went ice cold and only managed 18 points, and fell asleep on defense, giving up 39. They gave up yet another 70-point first half. The Wizards give up an average of 63.1 first-half points per game, over two points more than any other team.
The Wizards came all the way back in the third quarter. Bradley Beal got hot from the three-point line and Coach Brooks left him in for the entire quarter. He scored 20 points in the third alone. Shabazz Napier also made big plays on defense and a couple of acrobatic layups on the offensive end. He’s making the best of the added minutes he’s getting with Ish Smith sitting out.
After the Wizards took the lead early in the fourth with a Davis Bertans three, they controlled the rest of the game. They made hustle plays on defense and on the offensive glass. Despite Beal dropping 40, this was a very team-oriented win with many of the role players stepping up. Bertans, Troy Brown Jr., Mo Wagner, and Garrison Matthews combined for 35 points off the bench.
- Beal: Bradley Beal’s streak of 25+ point games ended against the Heat. His 40 point performance tonight though, is the 11th time he’s hit that scoring mark this season. Only James harden has more 40 point games.
- Napier: Shabazz Napier has elevated his level of play. In the Wizards last two games, he’s totaled 48 points, 13 assists, and seven steals.