Bradley Beal scored a career-high 51 points as the Washington Wizards trounced the Portland Trail Blazers 106-92 Tuesday night at Moda Center. To say the contest was never in doubt would be an understatement as the Wizards fell behind early, finding themselves trailing by 34 at half-time. They went on an 11-0 run to go up 31-22 in the first half, capped by Kelly Oubre Jr.'s pull-up jumper, and went on to lead 51-37 at the break.
The Portland Trail Blazers won four games on a five-game road trip, but have lost two straight since returning home. Damian Lillard played spectacularly, dropping in 29 points while dishing out eight assists, but it wasn't enough to garner his squad the victory.
Their star backcourt of Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum combine for about 46 points per game and will be the two biggest threats for a Wizards team that really struggled defending the perimeter last night.
NOTES: Washington G John Wall (knee) missed his sixth straight game. "Tonight, I was just playing freely and having fun". With Wall out for the fourth game in a row the bench players have had to extend themselves contributing extra minutes and coach Scott Brooks needs to manage his players accordingly.
The over is 4-0 in the last four meetings in Portland.
Rebounding - Rebounding should play a pivotal role tonight in deciding the victor. The Trail Blazers won the season's first meeting by a count of 108-105 at Washington on November 25. The Wizards are a decent rebounding team, ranking 15th in the league with 43.1 boards.
Beal is the third player this season to drop 50 or more points in a game, joining the short list of LeBron James and James Harden in 2017-18. They can't afford to lose this matchup with Lillard likely taking Tim Frazier to task. Will the Blazers cruise past the shorthanded Wizards, or can Washington turn it around and keep it close on the road? Look for McCollum to run a lot on offense to get Beal worn down and less effective as a scorer.