At that point, the Wizards needed Beal to revive. But even his presence on the floor could not stop the rise of Chicago in the 115-106 victory of the Bulls at United Center.
When Beal, the Wizards top scorer, returned to the game with 6:57 remaining, the teams were trapped in a tense fourth quarter. Chicago led 96-95 but then beat Washington with 10 consecutive points. For almost five minutes of play, a period that began before Beal stepped on the court, the Wizards did not score. And the dry period condemned Washington (13-27) and ruined Beal’s mood.
After the loss, Beal offered only brief answers to journalists’ questions in a low and murmured voice. When asked why this particular loss, just another game of the regular season in January, seemed to affect him more than usual, Beal’s tone sped up and frustration overflowed.
“Everyone does. I don’t like losing, I’m sorry,” Beal said.
He paused and then added: “Especially games that can be won.”
Winnable in the sense that Washington had a five-point lead at halftime and, after fighting an 11-point deficit in the third, was tied with the Bulls in 93 with 9:42 remaining.
And it can be won in the sense that the Wizards opponent was injured. The Bulls arrived with little hand and, in the course of the night, they lost two more rotation players. For a change, the Wizards were the healthiest and oldest team.
“I don’t like losing, so it will continue to explode for me.” Until we start to win and change our culture, then. . . ”Beal said, turning off.
When asked what he needed to change, Beal responded quickly.
“Winning games. Having that winning attitude, winning habits. “
Beal was hot early but scored only six of his team’s 23 points in the second half. Thomas Bryant started his first game since returning from his foot injury and played the role of striker alongside center Ian Mahinmi. In restricted minutes, Bryant finished with five points and three rebounds.
Zach LaVine set the pace for the Bulls (15-27) with 30 points and added seven assists and seven rebounds. In addition, Tomás Satoransky lost 18 points against his former team. After Beal returned in the fourth quarter, Satoransky provoked the race with a three-point play. Annoyed, Beal hit the ball against the basket several times before Satoransky’s free kick.
“I feel like the boys are frustrated,” said second-year forward Troy Brown Jr., who finished goalless in 17 minutes. “It was one of those things like the last game, we lost the game when we were 18. This was one of the games that the boys would take staff, and we felt we owed them one.” So to lose it as we did, I feel we don’t play as we wanted. “
None of the teams could with all the injuries. The Bulls have been without Otto Porter Jr. since November 6 due to an injury to his left foot that was first diagnosed as a bruise but then revealed to be a fracture. Porter, who began his career with the Wizards, has appeared in only nine games. Before Wednesday’s confrontation, Bulls coach Jim Boylen told reporters “there is no clarity” in the timeline for his return.
The Bulls, who have also played without the Wendall Carter Jr. center (right ankle sprain), suffered more pain after losing the Daniel Gafford center and forward Chandler Hutchison during the competition.
The Wizards had their own problems. Every time Beal finished his rotation, he passed the Wizards sideline and into a stationary bicycle near the entrance tunnel. He pedaled to keep his legs warm, but he had more problems than the pain under his right knee that cost him seven games.
According to coach Scott Brooks, Beal woke up with pain in his right shoulder. Although Beal did not want to go into details: “my shoulder is fine,” he murmured at the beginning of his interview after the loss, his playing status was determined only after he had done a pre-game training.
Still, his firing arm looked good. Beal, who played 27 minutes, started as the main escort, as usual, and made four of his first five shots. In the first half, the Wizards reflected Beal’s efficiency by reaching 54.1 percent, including 6 of 11 beyond the three-point arc, and led 60-55 at halftime.
The momentum, however, stagnated with the game on the scale.
“I feel it was 100 percent [on] us, ”Brown said of the goalless stretch in the last quarter. “We just weren’t on the same page. I feel that today we play without identity.
“We talk all the time about us playing hard, playing together and things like that,” Brown continued. “You could probably see it and see it: it didn’t look like us.”