WASHINGTON -- The Washington Wizards lost to the Golden State Warriors 125-117 on Monday night at Capital One Arena. Here are five takeaways from what went down...
1. One of the more remarkable things about the Wizards' league-worst and historically bad defense this season is that essentially with little variation they make the most inept offenses in the NBA look good.
The Warriors, for instance, came into this game with the 30th-ranked offensive rating. They also did not have D'Angelo Russell, their best scorer. And somehow they still torched the Wizards and their 30th-ranked defense for 125 points while shooting 49.4 percent from the field.
It wasn't just that they simply played above their normal levels, either. They scored in bursts like Warriors of previous years, exploding for 40 points in the first quarter and 72 by halftime. They made 15 threes in the game and 11 of them in the first half alone, which is more than their 10.4 average per game. They shot 50 percent from long range.
The shame is that this was a winnable match-up for the Wizards and they were aiming for their first three-game winning streak of the season.
2. Bradley Beal came into this game scorching hot, riding a six-game streak of 30 points or more. He pushed that to seven in this one with 43 points to go along with six assists and two steals.
Beal had 21 points in 21 minutes by halftime. He ended up shooting 15-for-30 on the night, plus 10-for-10 from the line, and played 39 total minutes.
This was Beal's seventh 40-point game already this season. Only Walt Bellamy, Bernard King and Gilbert Arenas have done so more often in a single season in franchise history. The record is 12, set by Bellamy in 1961-62.
Beal also made some history. With a second-quarter three, Beal moved past teammate John Wall to sole possession of third place on the franchise all-time scoring list. The only two players ahead of him are Elvin Hayes and Jeff Malone.
Not bad company to be in.
3. The Wizards had some reinforcements for this one with rookie Rui Hachimura and Moe Wagner both back from injury. Hachimura had been out since Dec. 16 with a groin injury, while Wagner was out since Dec. 11 with an ankle and foot issue.
Both of them showed some rust. There were good moments, but also some plays where they didn't look nearly as sharp as they did earlier this season. Hachimura had 11 points and eight boards. Wagner added eight points.
Wagner played 12 minutes, which seems appropriate coming off his injury. Hachimura, though surprisingly played 26 minutes.
4. One interesting note with their return was the starting lineup. Despite now having a full depth chart at power forward and center, head coach Scott Brooks kept Ian Mahinmi in as the starter.
Part of that is because Thomas Bryant, Hachimura and Wagner are supposed to be on minutes limits. But also Mahinmi has helped the Wizards show some improvement on defense in recent weeks.
This game, though, was one of those where he got into foul trouble ridiculously early. He had three fouls in his first five minutes.
5. The Wizards almost played this game without Davis Bertans, who was a gametime decision due to neck tightness. He was cleared, however, after going through his pregame warm-up. With three days off until their next game, it shouldn't be much of a concern. He also played well with 19 points, five assists and four rebounds. He shot 5-for-7 from three.
The big question is whether he will be on the roster on Friday when the Wizards play the Mavericks, given Thursday is the trade deadline. The Wizards have maintained both on and off the record they would like to keep Bertans. But deadlines make deals and all it takes is one desperate team to offer something the Wizards they can't refuse.
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