Beal the real deal in triple-OT thriller

China Daily (Latin America Weekly) - - World - AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS

WASH­ING­TON — Bradley Beal and Kelly Oubre Jr. have matched up of­ten in prac­tice, and Oubre thought he knew what to ex­pect in their re­u­nion.

Just one of a few sur­prises on a wild Satur­day night.

Beal had 40 points and his first ca­reer triple-dou­ble while squar­ing off against his for­mer team­mate, and the Wash­ing­ton Wizards beat the Phoenix Suns 149-146 in tripleover­time in the high­est-scor­ing NBA game since 2008.

“I was telling him, I didn’t know you were this hard to guard,” Oubre said af­ter his first game against Wash­ing­ton since he was traded to Phoenix last week. “I’m chas­ing you around all these screens, I’m get­ting hit ev­ery pos­ses­sion but you still mov­ing.

“He had an ex­cep­tional game and he willed them to the win tonight.”

The 295 com­bined points were the most since the Den­ver Nuggets and Seat­tle Su­perSon­ics to­taled 298 in two over­times on April 6, 2008. The record is Detroit’s 186-184 triple-OT win over Den­ver in 1983.

With All-Star point guard John Wall side­lined due to ill­ness, Beal scored 10 points in the third over­time, in­clud­ing a slic­ing layup that made it 146-144 with 40 sec­onds left.

He also had a ca­reer-high 15 as­sists and 11 re­bounds, and reached the triple-dou­ble plateau by the end of the first over­time. He still had to play two more to help Wash­ing­ton to its se­cond win in eight games.

“I will never try to go out and get a triple-dou­ble,” Beal said. “It’s the hard­est thing to do.”

Thomas Bryant added a ca­reer­high 31 points, hit all 14 of his shots and made all three of his free throws. At one point, Bryant scored 16 of 18 points for Wash­ing­ton across a stretch of the first and se­cond over­time.

“It’s amaz­ing,” the se­cond-year for­ward said. “I had no idea. I was just in the flow of the game. I just let the game come to me, and as soon as I felt like I was in the rhythm of it, I just went out and took it.”

Devin Booker had 33 points and 14 as­sists for the Suns, who ended their four-game win­ning streak af­ter giv­ing back a seven-point lead late in the fourth quar­ter.

Dean­dre Ay­ton had 26 points and 17 re­bounds for his fifth con­sec­u­tive dou­ble-dou­ble but fouled out mid­way through the se­cond over­time.

Af­ter go­ing score­less for nearly a 10-minute stretch in over­time, Beal scored eight straight points for Wash­ing­ton in the third ex­tra pe­riod.

Later, he cut through sev­eral de­fend­ers for a layup that gave the Wizards the lead for good, 146-144.

“When your best player is not play­ing, the other guys take on more re­spon­si­bil­i­ties,” Jazz coach Igor Kokoskov said.

“Beal came ready and un­der­stand­ing that his role tonight was go­ing to be dif­fer­ent.”

To­mas Sa­toran­sky and Jeff Green com­bined to make 3 of 4 free throws, with Booker hit­ting a lean­ing shot on the other end. Booker tried to set up TJ War­ren for a ty­ing 3-pointer, but War­ren’s shot came af­ter the buzzer.

Beal missed a po­ten­tial win­ning floater to end the first over­time pe­riod, and Booker had his shot from a sim­i­lar spot rim out to end the se­cond.

With for­wards Otto Porter (knee) and Dwight Howard (back) also re­main­ing out, Beal was the only mem­ber of Wash­ing­ton’s pre­sea­son pro­jected start­ing five that played on Satur­day.

“It was def­i­nitely a gut check for us,” Beal said. “You look at our se­cond group it was like a group of new guys out there. It was good for us to be able to ad­just.”

Bryant’s 14-for-14 per­for­mance is among the best per­fect shoot­ing nights in NBA his­tory. The only player to sink more field goals with­out a miss is Wilt Cham­ber­lain, who reached 18, 16 and 15 in dif­fer­ent games.

Oubre en­tered to an ova­tion from the Wash­ing­ton crowd with 5:02 left in the first. Af­ter play­ing his first three-plus NBA sea­sons with the Wizards, Oubre was traded with Austin Rivers to Phoenix for Trevor Ariza last week. He fin­ished with 20 points, in­clud­ing 15 in the fourth quar­ter or later.

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