Monday's loss to the San Antonio Spurs ended the eight-game win streak for the Wizards. It was the longest win streak since the great Michael Jordan played for the Wizards in 2001. Their red-hot streak took down some big names and teams in its time. To start the streak off they defeated the league's best, the Utah Jazz 125-121. The Utah Jazz currently have the best record at the NBA at 44-17. Bradley Beal led the way in the game with 34 points and five assists. Even against Donovan Mitchell's 42 points, they were able to beat the league's number one ranked team and start their streak.
They then defeated the Sacramento Kings and the New Orleans Pelicans in an overtime thriller, the Detroit Pistons, and the Oklahoma City Thunder. Then came the task of Stephen Curry and the Warriors. Stephen Curry has been on the hottest three-point shooting month in NBA history. This month, Curry has hit the most three-pointers in a single month in NBA history. But in this game vs the Wizards he shot two for 14 and couldn't get himself on track. A 46-point combined effort from Kelly Oubre Jr. and Jordan Poole helped to cut down the lead late in the game. But ultimately the Wizards came out on top and moved their win streak to six. Following that they Wizards beats the Oklahoma City Thunder again and then finally the Cleveland Cavaliers.
The game against the San Antonio Spurs started out great for the Wizards. Beal started the game out strong, reaching 30 points with eight minutes left in the quarter. That 30 point marked the 32nd 30-point game for Beal, which is a new career high for 30-point games in a single season for him. With 15.8 seconds remaining, Beal ties the game which would eventually go into overtime. The Wizards and Spurs were keeping up with each other up until the very end of overtime. Down three with five seconds remaining, Beal had a chance to tie the game but was defended well beyond the arc and the winning streak ended. Beal dropped 45 points in the effort and practically got whatever he wanted out there.
Beal has been on a rampage throughout the hot streak. Averaging 32.1 points per game during the streak on 47.4% shooting from the field. He is right around his season averages in the shooting department. He is the league's leading points per game scorer and when you can take a breather by handing it off to a league MVP in Westbrook, you have to be pretty happy with that. Not only has Beal been on a tear, but Russell Westbrook has been a triple double machine. Recording six triple doubles in the eight-game streak and 12 in the last 15 games. Westbrook is 8th in rebounds this year at 11.0 rebounds per game and he leads the league in assists per game at 11.0. When you have both the leader in points per game and assists per game on your team, then you know that you have a dangerous offense. Defense is where the Wizards biggest issues lie. They are 29th in points allowed per game and 21st when it comes to defensive team rating.
Hopefully the Wizards can get back on track against the Lakers tonight. The Wizards haven't been to the playoffs since the 2017-18 season. They are still one dominant big man away from being contenders, but the duo of Westbrook and Beal is not one that I would want to match up with any night.
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