Beal’s 43, Westbrook’s triple-double lead Wizards over Jazz
WASHINGTON (AP) — Bradley Beal scored 43 points, Russell Westbrook had 35 points, 15 rebounds and 13 assists in his 13th triple-double of the season and the Washington Wizards beat the Utah Jazz 131-122 on Thursday night.
Washington broke a five-game losing streak overall and a nine-game skid against Utah.
Donovan Mitchell equaled a season high with 42 points for the Jazz, who at 29-11 still have the NBA’s best record but have lost four of six in March.
“We’re playing against the best team in basketball,” Washington coach Scott Brooks said. “Our antennas were up. We’ve got to do that every night.”
Utah’s Joe Ingles added a career-high 34 points, including eight 3-pointers.
It was Beal’s fifth 40-point game of the season. Westbrook’s 15 rebounds equaled a season high.
“We guarded for 48 minutes,” Beal said. “We just did a good job of making them uncomfortable. We executed on the offensive end. We made sure everyone was involved, but it was definitely the defense that won us the game.”
Washington scored 13 straight to take a 23-12 lead with 5:02 to play in the first quarter. The Wizards increased their lead to 64-40 just before halftime, and the Jazz got no closer than 112-105 with 6:20 to play.
“The urgency that we have on defense needs to improve,” Utah coach Quin Snyder said.
Washington had 24 points off 17 Jazz turnovers.
“I think teams are just playing more physical,” Mitchell said. “I think they just wanted it more.”
The Wizards lost a two-point game to Sacramento on Wednesday night.
“They played a tough game last night, but you couldn’t tell by the way the played,” Mitchell said.
Jazz: G Mike Conley was rested ahead of Friday’s game at Toronto. Snyder likes to rest Conley in back-to-backs, and said because the team played Tuesday, it would give him two days of rest before and after the game against the Raptors. Ingles started in his place. … C Rudy Gobert missed the first seven free throws he attempted and was assessed a technical foul in the fourth quarter. He had 13 rebounds. … Mitchell scored 20 points in the third quarter.
Wizards: Their previous win against Utah came on Feb. 18, 2016. … Even though they’ve won just 15 games, have recorded a win against each of the top six teams in the Western Conference. … F Davis Bertans played just four minutes due to tightness in his right calf. … Westbrook grabbed his 5,000th defensive rebound.
BIG NIGHT IN A LOSS
Ingles’ eight 3-pointers tied a team record, but he wasn’t thrilled by that.
“We need to play like we want to win a championship,” Ingles said. “I don’t know the exact reason, but we need to come out aggressive on both ends.”
SHOOTING FOR 4?
Brooks said the proliferation of 3-point shots doesn’t make him eager to see a shooter rewarded for even longer field goals.
“They’re shooting deeper than ever,” Brooks said. “Back in time, if you’d taken one of those shots with any of my former coaches, it would have been an ugly timeout.”
Jazz: Visit the Toronto Raptors on Friday.
Wizards: Visit the Nets on Sunday.
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By RICH DUBROFF