Story By: Sol Tucker
Photos By: Sol Tucker
After a solid victory over the Pacers to open the season, the Wizards returned home to play a veteran Bulls team who also started the season 1-0 with a 116-108 victory over Miami.
Tonight, the Wizards again showcased what this offense is capable when everyone is healthy. Kyle Kuzma again started his scoring early and made sure he carried the Wizards late in the fourth quarter in route to his team high 26 points and 6 rebounds, but it was their team leader in Bradley Beal that was the difference tonight for the Wizards.
Washington blew a 17-point third-quarter lead in its home opener, but with the game tied at 100 and the shot clock running down, Beal’s shot off the glass dropped through to give the Wizards the lead. Following a timeout, DeMar DeRozan’s 3-pointer rimmed out for Chicago.
“I told myself, I’m going to get a shot, I’m going to make the shot,” Beal said.
Wearing the 25th Anniversary jerseys tonight for the first time, it was only fitting for Beal to hit a game winner, just like other players in the past wearing this combination of logo and colors that have done the same.
“We stuck with it,” Washington coach Wes Unseld Jr. said. “That game could have easily gotten away from us.”
After the game, Beal commented on his sluggish start to the season.
“Don’t get it twisted, I’ll still go off for 30, 40 and 50 if I need to,” Beal said. “I have teammates who can score the ball and make plays too.”
For the Bulls, DeRozan had plenty of help himself, but it was the absence of Zach Levine that is still leaving this team figuring a good combination to go deep in games like they did tonight. This game could have very easily gone the other way with guys like Levine in the line-up, just as it has in previous years.
The Wizards head to Cleveland on Sunday looking to improve to 3-0.