After yet another herculean effort by Bradley Beal, who scored 41, his 24th-career 40-point tally, the Wizards (2–7) fell to the Boston Celtics (7–3) 116–107 in the final match of a four-game road trip. Boston came out strong — racing to an 8–0 lead — after Beal committed two turnovers, but the Wizards’ star atoned for any errors by scoring eight of the team’s first 13 points and 14 of 28 at the end of the first quarter.
Also of note from a first quarter that saw Washington down 33–28 was the insertion of Isaac Bonga — who hasn’t played since the Minnesota game, albeit for five minutes — to help stabilize the defense. Despite being one of the more capable defenders on a team that struggles on that end of the floor, Bonga played only six minutes and finished with one rebound and one assist.
With the Wizards having trouble scoring in the paint, Head Coach Scott Brooks opted for a rotation of Thomas Bryant (seven points, eight rebounds, two assists) and Mo Wagner, who, despite scoring just one point, operated as a spark plug off the bench. With Washington falling behind Boston by as many as 21 points in the second quarter — mainly due to poor shooting and 11 turnovers — Beal did all he could by putting up 18 at the half.
A 10–2 Boston run to start the third quarter put the Wizards down 76–49, forcing Brooks to take a timeout. Following the stoppage of play, guard Garrison Matthews made his first appearance for Washington this season — he finished with four points, two rebounds and one steal, pestering Marcus Smart (13, five and five) on the defensive end. A late Beal three saw the visitors close out the quarter down 96–81.
As the fourth began, Brooks kept his Beal-and-the-bench lineup of Wagner, Ish Smith (eight points, three steals), Davis Bertans (13 points on 4–9 from three shooting) and Matthews on the floor. After a 7–2 run to kick off the quarter, the Wizards closed the gap to ten.
A few minutes later, Rui Hachimura (17, five and three) hit a three, which brought the Wizards within four (99–95) and forced Boston Head Coach Brad Stevens to ask for a timeout. (All of this came while Beal was on the bench, resting). Even after Beal re-entered the game, Washington simply ran out of gas on both ends of the floor. And with Jayson Tatum (32) and Jaylen Brown (27) dominating, Washington sank to 2–7 on the season.
Over the past two games, Beal has put up a combined 101 points, but scored only seven in the fourth quarter (three on Wednesday and four tonight). And with upcoming games against Miami, Phoenix and Utah, the road ahead doesn’t get any easier.