Beal and Westbrook lecture Clippers and look to playoffs

The Wizards couple surprised again, this time the Clippers, and continues with their spectacular climb. Kawhi, missing in the last quarter.


The Wizards want the playoffs. At least, it is the feeling they have given in the last month, when they have gone from a 6-17 record to a 14-20 record, getting, to get out of the well, five consecutive victories and beating some of the best teams in the world. competition. They did it, at the beginning of their spectacular streak, against Celtics who were entering their particular crisis or against Lakers weakened by injuries. And now they have finished with some Clippers who have gradually sunk in recent games and who cannot keep their two stars healthy. Regardless of the level of its rival, the team from the American capital is carburing with a couple that had an initial hype that was diluted until it has re-emerged now and, with the entire second part of the season ahead, they are two Eighth-place playoff victories currently held by the Raptors. In between they have Hawks, Pacers and Bulls, but their form is greater than that of their most immediate rivals and their two stars seem to be in tune and with a common goal, something worthy considering that, for many, the team Scott Brooks had shot the season.

The Wizards were, against the Clippers, a hammer that waited for their chance to win and did not lose patience when they showed their well-known poor defense, which has improved in this streak but continues to have absolutely horrifying moments. In the second period, the Clippers scored 39 points, with more than 70% shooting from the field and 50% from 3-pointers, numbers that suggested a return to old ways that ultimately did not occur. However, the patience they had after returning from the dressing room tunnel closed the wound, and the scoreboard reflected an 87-87 with 12 minutes to go. At that point, Kawhi Leonard had 19 points, but only scored 3 more in the rest of the game, without being the solution of a team that, in accordance with its theoretical leader, alternates lights and shadows, in addition to adding its third consecutive defeat. And Westbrook, who was 18 + 4 + 7, finished with 27 + 9 + 11, that is, 9 points, 5 rebounds (an impressive one, in attack and in the last play to Hachimura's failure from the free throw, to ensure the game) and 4 assists (with a single loss), only in the last quarter. And there was, in that spectacular finale, the difference that tipped the balance.

Westbrook has stopped monopolizing the game as much as before, no longer indiscriminately throwing three and has enough patience at the right moments to generate spaces and find his teammates. Among them is Bradley Beal, who went to 33 points on a poor shooting series (9 of 23) but scoring 14 of his 15 shots from staff. Both are in a great moment: the point guard has made at least one double-double in 12 consecutive games, and averages more than 20 points, 11 rebounds and 11 assists in them. Beal, still the top scorer in the NBA with 32.9 points per night (with 5.4 rebounds and 4.8 assists), is at his usual numbers on this streak, which is around 50%. in field shots. In other words, it has been Westbrook's adjustments that have allowed the Wizards to be competitive and to be able to watch all their rivals from you to you, initiating a spectacular comeback that nobody knows if it will be enough to get into the playoffs or will simply stay. in a late attempt.

Of the rest, little more to add. The Clippers had a collaborative game that resulted in seven players over ten points, highlighting Ivica Zubac's double-double (13 + 13) from the bench. Serge Ibaka, by the way, had one of his worst performances of the season and was left without scoring in 18 minutes of play, with -22 on the court only surpassed by -23 by Nicolás Batum, who made 2 out of 10 in shots from the field, with 2 of 8 in triples. And in the Wizards there were three players who accompanied the fashionable couple in the NBA, Raul Neto, Robin Lopez and Davis Bertans, but the spotlight was monopolized by Bradley Beal and Russell Westbrook, who taught the Clippers in a way that was as unexpected as it was deserved and They continue with their comeback, we will see if they are successful, while they try to make up for the huge amount of defeats they had at the beginning of the year. And they seek, personally, different things: Beal, to be the definitive leader of the only franchise in which he has been in the NBA. And Westbrook, an eternally postponed redemption that is necessary in one of the stars with the worst press of the competition. But a star, after all.

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