Westbrook and Beal, from video game, subdue the Jazz

The Wizards pass over the Jazz with a triple-double from Westbrook and 43 points from Beal, a new performance with video game numbers.


The Wizards look like a Play Station team. And not because they win games, something that is costing them a lot this year despite the spectacular streak they had before the All Star, when it even seemed that they had playoff options. They are now five wins away and have won their first match after the break, which sank them when they were at their best and left them shivering. They had five consecutive defeats before meeting with the Jazz, almost the most difficult rival of the streak, which they have imposed in Washington with two stellar performances of, once again, Russell Westbrook and Bradley Beal, who want to break all statistical records despite seeing, now, incredibly far some playoffs that they have more difficult than ever to access, something that they will only do except surprise and historical comeback; and not because of the distance they are from eighth place, rather because they have four teams ahead of them, plus those that are immersed in the fight for qualification and that constantly move in and out of those positions.

The team led by Scott Brooks scored more than 30 points in all the quarters, something typical for prolific scorers who need a tame offensive play to win a game by not exerting, of course, any effort on defense. And the numbers, attention, they were from another world: Westbrook went to 35 points, 15 rebounds and 13 assists, with 12 of 23 in field goals, 2 of 5 in triples and 9 of 11 in free throws. He lost 5 balls, but his team added a +10 with him on the court, an almost unprecedented news if we take into account his fame to subtract more than to add. It is, by the way, Westbrook's 13th triple-double this season and his third in the last four games, as well as having 10 or more assists in seven of the last eight. In Beal's case, the display was, again, scoring: 43 points (and 5 assists), with 6 of 24 in shots (tremendous) and 4 of 6 in triples, plus 7 of 8 in free throws.

On the other side of the dynamic duo, the Jazz no longer look like the Spurs of 2014 or the Warriors of 2016. As if touched by a wand, they seemed immortal in that spectacular streak in which nothing and no one could stop them. Now, they have run out of that dose of magic that they used to win and is a vulnerable team, which continues to maintain the leadership of the Western Conference but see Lakers in 1.5 games who are second after taking advantage of the losses of the of Quin Snyder, that of the Suns and, a day earlier, that of the Clippers. Donovan Mitchell signed up for Beal's scoring festival and looked him in the face in a tall match: 42 points, 4 rebounds and 6 assists, with 16 of 30 in field goals and 4 of 12 in triples, in addition to 6 of 7 on free throws. The problem for Utah is that now they need an individual exhibition to win and it is not enough with the excellent team game they practiced in their spectacular streak. One more sign that the magic is over. What we do not know is if he will return.

The Wizards will have to return to a spectacular streak if they want to work the miracle of the playoffs. For the moment, they will be content with being one of the best teams in the competition, with having Beal as the top scorer and with Westbrook continuing to overcome Oscar Robertson in the list of historical triple-doubles, which will surely lead in the future not excessively distant. In the case of the Jazz, they will have to recover their game if they do not want scares in the first place of the toughest Conference, but beyond that position, the objective is sensations that have disappeared and that, being so impressive, will be difficult to recover. We already said it: the Jazz need to play perfect, as they were doing, if they really want to have the right to be considered title contenders. But, by the time they drop to 10%, they will have a very difficult time winning a seven-game series against the Lakers or Clippers (who can afford not to use their full capacity), or even the Suns, with more. raw talent. There will be the key for them. And for everyone else, of course.

Photos from as.com
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