Wizards hold-off Kings behind Beal’s late heroics

Behind a near triple-double performance from Bradley Beal, the Washington Wizards held off a late rally from the Sacramento Kings to pick up a much-needed 121-115 victory on Monday night.

Though Beal’s 27-point, nine-rebound, nine-assist stat line at the final buzzer was another in a long line of impressive performances this season, the night didn’t start out great for the All-Star shooting guard. Heading into the fourth quarter, Beal had just 14 points on 5-of-13 shooting from the field. Mixing in four personal fouls, the Wizards’ go-to guy didn’t look his normal self.

But when Washington needed him most, Beal came alive, scoring 13 points in the fourth quarter to help propel the Wizards to their 28th victory of the season. He contributed on the defensive end as well, coming up with two crucial steals in the final minutes that led to a dunk and a three-point basket.

In addition to Beal’s fourth quarter heroics, a balanced scoring attack helped Washington squeak out the win. The Wizards had six players not named Bradley Beal score in double figures. Jabari Parker finished with 18 points, 14 of them coming in what was an impressive first half showing for one of the team’s newest additions. Bobby Portis and Tomas Satoransky both added 17 points, Chasson Randle dropped 12 and Trevor Ariza and Jeff Green contributed 11 points each.

While the scoring was great, Washington’s oft-struggling defense stole the show in the final minutes. The Wizards locked down Sacramento in the closing action, forcing the Kings into tough shots in the paint and around the perimeter.

For the visitors, De’Aaron Fox led the way with 23 points, but the young guard also committed six turnovers. A few of those came in the final minutes, hindering Sacramento’s chance at a comeback. Buddy Hield, Harrison Barnes and Nemanja Bjelica scored 15 each, but it wouldn’t be enough from the supporting cast, as the Kings fell back to .500 at 33-33.

Continuing to fight for a chance at a playoff spot, the Wizards will remain home for games against Orlando, Charlotte and Memphis later this week.

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