Earlier this season, Washington Wizards star Bradley Beal put up a career-high 60 points against the Philadelphia 76ers, then followed it up with 41 points against the Boston Celtics. Unfortunately, both of those outings came in defeat, which made him the first player since himself a year ago to lose back-to-back 40-point outings.
Somehow, things have only gotten worse since then. The Wizards had six straight games postponed due to a COVID-19 outbreak which sidelined them for a few weeks and have now lost all three games since returning to action to fall to a league-worst 3-11. Meanwhile, Beal is making more history for the wrong reasons.
Against the New Orleans Pelicans on Wednesday night, Beal poured in 47 points to go along with four rebounds, six assists and four steals, but the Wizards lost by 18 points. In the process, he became the first player in NBA history to lose 10 straight 40-point games. Yes, you read that right. Ten straight.
Here's a look back at those contests:
- Jan 27, 2021: 47 points in loss to Pelicans
- Jan. 8, 2021: 41 points in loss to Celtics
- Jan. 6, 2021: 60 points in loss to Sixers
- Feb. 28, 2020: 42 points in loss to Jazz
- Feb. 24, 2020: 55 points in loss to Bucks
- Feb. 23, 2020: 53 points in loss to Bulls
- Feb. 3, 2020: 43 points in loss to Warriors
- Jan. 28, 2020: 47 points in loss to Bucks
- Jan. 26, 2020: 40 points in loss to Hawks
- Dec. 3, 2019: 42 points in loss to Magic
After Wednesday's loss, Beal was asked if he was frustrated and responded, "Is the sky blue?" But you didn't have to hear him speak to know how he was feeling. Just take a look at this screenshot from the broadcast, which is sure to become a meme.
That's about as clear as it gets, and is somehow even more pained than his reaction from the other night. Late in the Wizards' loss to the Houston Rockets on Tuesday, during which Beal scored 33 points, he was seen shaking his head in dismay.
As the team keeps losing, it's only natural that the trade rumors will start to swirl. But to his credit, Beal has remained committed to the Wizards, and explained after the Pelicans game that his frustration is in large part because he wants so badly to win in D.C.
"This is why I stayed, I want to win [here]... it's tough [losing]."
That's a noble approach, but if this Wizards team can't win when Beal is dropping 40-plus, it's hard to wonder when they ever will.