John Wall throws it down. (Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports)
Tuesday brought bad news for Washington Wizards fans, as the team announced that starting shooting guard Bradley Beal will miss at least two weeks with a stress reaction in his right leg. With their leading scorer and top 3-point marksman sidelined, and the 7-7 Los Angeles Lakers coming into town for a Tuesday night matchup, the Wizards figured to need even more from star point guard John Wall if they hoped to win their fourth game in five tries and give the Verizon Center crowd something to cheer about on a comparatively glum day.
Wall, to his credit, did not disappoint:
A steal, a quicker-than-a-hiccup race to the other end of the court and a 360-degree slam dunk might not do anything to speed up his running buddy's return, but it sure didn't hurt Wizards fans eager for a reason to smile. Nor, for that matter, did Wall's overall play on Tuesday.
The former No. 1 overall pick continued his strong recent form, scoring a game-high 31 points on 10 for 18 shooting — his third straight game with 30-plus points, following big outings against the Toronto Raptors and New York Knicks, which is the first time in his career that he's done that — to go with nine assists, including this third-quarter beauty to Nene, who was similarly beastly on Tuesday:
Wall added six rebounds and three steals in 36 1/2 minutes to lead the way, joined by Nene's 30 points on 13 for 22 shooting, five assists, two rebounds, two steals and some very strong work in the post against the likes of Pau Gasol and Jordan Hill. As the Wizards' broadcast team noted, Wall and Nene became the first pair of Wizards to hit the 30-point mark in the same game since Gilbert Arenas (33) and Antawn Jamison (30) pulled it off against the Sacramento Kings back on Dec. 16, 2009. Unlike that night, though, the Wiz came away victorious on Tuesday, improving their home record to 4-2 and pulling within two games of .500.
Video via @cjzero.
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