Sixers top Wizards despite Beal's record-tying 60 points
Bradley Beal sank his free throw in the final seconds to reach a milestone, a Washington record-tying 60 points.
But the NBA-leading Philadelphia 76ers overcame Beal's first career 60-point game in a 141-136 win over the Wizards on Wednesday night.
Beal (University of Florida) scored 57 points through three quarters and seemed poised to not only smash the 60-point mark, but complete Washington's rally from 21 points down.
Beal was stuffed on a layup and missed a 3-pointer inside the final minute, nearly coming up short of joining Golden State’s Stephen Curry as 60-point scorers this season. Curry scored a career-high 62 points on Sunday night.
“I put it on myself to close it out,” Beal said. “I've got to be better.”
Beal, who once scored 53 and 55 points in consecutive games, sank a free throw with 4.4 seconds left to hit the mark. He went 20 of 25 from the floor, made 7 of 10 3-points and went 13 of 15 from the line to match former Wizard Gilbert Arenas for the franchise single-game mark.
Beal was sensational from the start, going 11 of 16 (four 3-pointers) from the floor in the first half for 32 points and joined Michael Jordan (34 points in 2001) and Arenas (33 points in 2006 and 30 in 2007) as Wizards to score 30 in half over the last 20 years.
He hit seven 3s and reached 57 points through three quarters, and that should have been enough to give the Wizards the lead. But Washington's defense was atrocious in the first half. They gave up 82 points and trailed by as many as 21 points, Beal outscoring the rest of the Wizards.
“He can score a lot of points on any team on any given night, but he wants to lead us in victories,” coach Scott Brooks said.
Arenas, who turned 39 on Wednesday, scored 60 points on Dec. 17, 2006.
Beal failed to win again on a night on which he topped 50 points.
“All my career highs have been losses,” he said. “I don’t give a damn.”