Beal scores 36 as Wizards Win third straight (12-5-18)

By:Ryan Fowler

Headline Graphic Credit: Darrell Owens-LMS Network

ATLANTA- Bradley Beal scored a season-high 36 points, Otto Porter Jr. had 20 and 11 rebounds, and the Washington Wizards won their third straight game with a 131-117 victory over the Atlanta Hawks on Wednesday night.

Wizards star guard John Wall missed the game for personal reasons, but Washington still finished with a season-high 35 assists. Beal, with nine assists and nine rebounds, was a matchup nightmare for the Hawks, who began the night with the NBA’s third-worst record and lost their fourth straight. John Collins finished with 14 rebounds and a career-high 26 points, and Kent Bazemore added 22 points for Atlanta.

Maryland product, and Hawks rookie Kevin Huerter was the first player assigned to guard Beal, and he was replaced early. Atlanta coach Lloyd Pierce tried several combinations but nothing worked for long.

Beal drew Collins, a 6-foot-10 forward, out to guard him in the third quarter and quickly cut past him. Rookie point guard Trae Young closed in the lane too late as Beal drove for a layup and a 19-point lead. Beal took the ball to the rim often enough to get to the foul line where he hit 10 of 13 free throws. The Wizards finished 27 for 32 at the line (84.3%).

The Hawks used a 45-point third, their highest-scoring quarter of the season, to pull within seven in the first minute of the fourth on Bazemore’s jumper. Young had a chance to make it a three-point game but missed a wild layup attempt at the 9:48 mark, and Tomas Satoransky followed with a 3-pointer to push the lead to eight.

Young, the fifth overall pick in this year’s draft out of Oklahoma, took a hard spill 30 seconds later as he tried to shoot a 3 at the top of the arc, falling into Wizards guard Austin Rivers on the way down. Young landed on his back and stayed down before getting up to make two of three free throws. Beal answered with a runner and hit a pair of free throws on the ensuing possession to push the lead back to double digits. Rivers started in Wall’s spot and had nine points, seven assists and seven rebounds.


Wizards: It was the first game Wall has missed this season. He was back in DC awaiting the birth of his first child…F Jeff Green was sidelined with back issues for the second time in the last three games… Beal has scored at least 20 points 18 times this season.

Hawks: Reserve G Jeremy Lin left with a lower back strain and didn’t return after playing four minutes…Collins earned his fourth double-double of the season five-minutes into the third… Bazemore started in place of F Taurean Prince, who injured his left ankle in Monday’s loss to Golden State and will miss three weeks.


Wizards: At Cleveland on Saturday. (Dec 8.)

Hawks: Host Denver on Saturday.  (Dec 8.)