Bradley Beal sure seems to love playing in Charlotte.
The Wizards’ young star followed up his solid All Star appearance with an absolute masterpiece in Washington’s first game back from the break. Beal went for a season-high 46 points on 16-of-25 shooting with four 3-pointers, seven assists and six rebounds to boot. He knocked down clutch shot after clutch shot, showing Wizards fans what he could be when the team around him is ready.
Oh yeah — I suppose this might be a good time to mention that the Wizards somehow lost the game...by double-digits.
Charlotte beat Washington 123-110 in a rollercoaster return to the regular season on Friday. Kemba Walker led the Hornets with 27 points and 11 assists, while Nicolas Batum scored 17 of his 20 points in the first half to put Charlotte in front.
Charlotte actually switched up their starting line-up in this first game after the break, slotting in rookie Miles Bridges at small forward and removing Jeremy Lamb. That move looked like quite the gaffe early on, as the Wizards came out firing and took a 28-16 lead with around three minutes to play in the first quarter.
Jeff Green looked particularly great early, scoring 9 points plus a perfectly placed fast-break assist to Thomas Bryant as he streaked down the court. The Wizards ended up leading 38-27 after a quarter, and all seemed well.
Then the storm hit. After a first quarter in which Washington shot 16-of-23 (nearly 70 percent) from the field, the Wizards would then hit only 11 of their next 41 shots (26 percent) (h/t Zach Rosen). Charlotte flat-out embarrassed Washington’s bench in the second quarter, including a sequence in which the Hornets intercepted passes for fast-break points on three consecutive possessions.
That trend continued when both teams’ starters returned, as nobody other than Beal could get a shot to go for Washington. Tomas Satoransky aside, the Wizards disappointed up and down the roster while the Hornets’ more balanced attack repeatedly paid dividends.
Charlotte won the second quarter 38-22, and they weren’t done yet. The Hornets brought their relentless both-ends intensity to the second half as well, and Washington only got close once in the second half — when the game was 96-91, Charlotte. Immediately after that, the Hornets extended their lead once again and put Beal’s crew away for good.
Here are just a bunch of Beal highlights, enjoy
Oh, and here’s Troy Brown hitting a game-winner for the Go-Go
LET IT FLY— Capital City Go-Go (@CapitalCityGoGo) February 23, 2019
LET'S GOOOO pic.twitter.com/XjfalOYCtJ
Next up: The Wizards (24-35) will play the Indiana Pacers (39-20) Saturday night at 7 pm ET.