37 points on 15 of 24 shooting, 5 rebounds, and 2 assists. This stat line was preceded by the name of Bradley Beal, and marked a career high in points for the second year player. Back in 2012, when the Washington Wizards drafted the former Florida Gator, it was nights like these Ernie Grunfeld imagined Beal having. Although his outstanding effort came in a difficult lose, the excellent scoring display further solidified to Washington fans that their playoff candidacy and selection of Beal are both for real.
The Wizards swallowed a difficult 92-89 loss to the Memphis Grizzlies as Beal missed one of his few shots in the closing seconds in an attempt to force overtime. The Wiz struggled in the first half finding themselves down 13 points at the midway point. The Grizzlies were paced by five scorers finishing in double figures led by Nick Calathes, who finished with 18 points.
In the second half, Washington increased their defensive pressure, and without Mike Conley, Memphis allowed Washington to creep back into the game. Beal hit one of his several shots on the night to knot the score at 80. Then, it was Nene’s turn, as he nailed a 17-footer to give Washington the 82-80 edge. From here on out, however, it was all Grizzlies, as they answered with a 7-2 mini run and never relinquished the lead.
Washington now sits one game below .500 and will visit Houston for a matchup with Rockets prior to entering the all-star break. The Wizards have shown great signs of hope and growth in 2013-14, and fans hope Washington is able to sustain their success deep into March.