Bradley Beal's clutch shot saves Wizards after untimely lapses late vs. Warriors

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Chase Hughes
·4 min read
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Beal's clutch shot saves Wizards after late lapses vs. Warriors originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington

The Washington Wizards beat the Golden State Warriors 110-107 on Friday night. Here are five takeaways from what went down...

Wiz win a thriller

Far too many times this season, the Wizards have made bad mistakes at crucial times late in games they could have won. It has been part of the story of their disappointing season. And on Friday night, it appeared they were headed down a similar road.

The Wizards committed some untimely turnovers in the closing minutes to give the Warriors an opening. But then Bradley Beal put on his cape and pulled through with one of the most clutch plays of his career. After Westbrook missed a three, Beal tracked down the rebound and fired an off-balance three from the corner with just 6.1 seconds to go. Beal was fouled on the play and the free throw gave the Wizards the lead.

Deni Avdija added a big defensive play at the rim in the closing seconds, as the Wizards pulled out one of the more entertaining games of their 2020-21 season. It was their second straight win, as they moved to 19-32 on the year.

Lopez was on fire

Among the many unexpected developments of this Wizards season, the scoring prowess of backup center Robin Lopez has been among them. It's not like he's been lighting up the league, but his consistency has stood out and, more than anything, how important he has been to the Wizards' offense. Some nights, they run their offense through him in the post. Nobody predicted that would happen coming into this year.

For Lopez, it's all about the hook shot, or 'Hook Lopez.' It's an automatic offensive weapon, as it's rarely blocked and always seems to go in. Lopez used it generously on Friday night en route to 20 points, including 16 in the first half. He also had eight rebounds.

Rui Hachimura got hot early just like Lopez. He had 13 points in the first quarter and finished with 22 for the game.

Another Oubre revenge game

There are a lot of Wizards fans out there who wish the team never traded Kelly Oubre Jr., and the return they got of Trevor Ariza on an expiring contract has made that trade look especially bad in hindsight. While some of the 'one that got away' stuff about Oubre has been overblown, he sure looked good on Friday.

Oubre erupted in the third quarter with 11 points and had 23 in the game. He added six rebounds and shot 8-for-13 from the field. Oubre is on his way to another big payday this summer, still at only 25 years old and with $39 million already made. He's probably going to earn over $100 million in his career, which is not bad at all for a guy who is solid, but not exactly a star.

Beal played again, and well

Beal played for the second straight game after missing five with a right hip contusion and that's noteworthy because after Wednesday's game he revealed he was dealing with a nerve issue in his hip, in addition to bruising. Though the Wizards do not believe the nerve problem is a significant concern, Beal said it is something he is continuing to deal with.

Beal didn't play well in the first half with only three points. He said in his walk-off interview on NBC Sports Washington his back was tightening up and he had to get treatment in the locker room. But he came out hot afterward and dropped 17 of his 20 points in the first half.

The Wizards have a back-to-back with the Phoenix Suns on Saturday, so we'll see if the team decides to rest Beal or if he's good to keep it rolling.

First look at Wiseman

The Wizards got their first glimpse at second overall pick James Wiseman, the bouncy big man who entered the league as a bit of a mystery after playing just three games in college. He did some things that showed off exactly why he was picked so high, as at 7-foot-1 he possesses rare speed and leaping ability. Wiseman's first three baskets were dunks, two of them all over Wizards defenders. Wiseman had 18 points and six rebounds.

Much like Wizards rookie Deni Avdija, Wiseman has had an up-and-down season. Just recently it seemed like he was in head coach Steve Kerr's doghouse, but then he played well against the Bucks and is back in good standing. Wiseman's talent is so obvious that it seems likely he will be at least an above average center for many years in the NBA, if not a star. 

But it's going to take time, as he's a raw talent and that's a reminder of how difficult it can be to find instant help in the draft. The Warriors were hoping to do that with Curry in the backend of his prime, but it's much easier said than done. We may not know what Wiseman truly is until years from now.