WASHINGTON—Bradley Beal delivered when the Wizards needed him most.Beal scored 17 of his 39 points in the fourth quarter to lead Washington to a 114-110 win over the Bulls on Sunday.Beal scored 15 straight points in the fourth as the Wizards rallied from an eight-point deficit early in the period. He also had nine rebounds and tied a career high with nine assists.
”I didn’t even know that,” Beal said when asked about his spurt. ”That’s just being in the zone, being locked in.”
Beal became the second player this year to have at least 39 points, nine rebounds and nine assists. Oklahoma City’s Russell Westbrook had 40 points, 14 rebounds and nine assists on Dec. 29.Beal has shown signs of taking his game to a new level this season. When backcourt mate John Wall was out with a knee injury, Beal had a career-high 51 points at Portland on Dec. 5, a night after the Wizards suffered a 47-point loss at Utah.
”He’s able to stay aggressive and still be hot and also make the right reads at the right times,” Wall said.
Bulls coach Fred Hoiberg said it was frustrating trying to defend Beal.
”We were trying to get it out of his hands there for a stretch,” Hoiberg said. ”But they did a good job finding him, seeking him out.”
Nikola Mirotic scored 21 points to lead the Bulls, who had won 10 of its previous 12. Kris Dunn had 19 points and 11 assists.David Nwaba’s two free throws with 1:26 to play gave the Bulls a 108-107 lead, and Dunn hit a jumper with 54 seconds remaining.Wall’s three-point play with 29.4 seconds left put the Wizards up 112-110. After Beal missed two free throws, Washington got the rebound and Wall added two free throws with 9.1 seconds to play.Wall had 21 points, nine assists, six rebounds and four blocked shots.The difference was 3-point shooting. Washington was 16 for 36 (44.4 percent) while the Bulls were 8 for 35 (22.9 percent). The Bulls missed 17 of 20 3-point attempts in the first half.