Bradley Beal shines in return as Wizards top Cavs
Bradley Beal collected 29 points and a season high-tying 10 assists in his return from health and safety protocol to fuel the host Washington Wizards to a 110-93 win over the Cleveland Cavaliers on Thursday.
Beal made 13 of 23 shots from the floor for the Wizards, who also saw Kentavious Caldwell-Pope (four 3-pointers, 12 points) and Anthony Gill (eight points) return from protocol. Spencer Dinwiddie, however, entered health and safety protocol prior to the game.
Kyle Kuzma recorded 13 of his 25 points in the third quarter and finished with 10 rebounds to send Washington to its third win in five games. The Wizards shot a robust 50 percent from the floor, with Kuzma sinking 11 of his 17 attempts.
— NBA (@NBA) December 31, 2021
Cleveland’s Kevin Love collected 24 points and 11 rebounds and rookie Evan Mobley scored 14 of his 21 points in the first quarter. Lauri Markkanen and Isaac Okoro each added 11 points for the Cavaliers, who were playing their first game since Ricky Rubio sustained a torn ACL on Tuesday in a 108-104 setback at New Orleans.
Beal made nine of his 13 shots and had six assists to pace Washington to a 58-51 lead at halftime. The Wizards shot 51.1 percent from the floor before the break to offset 17 points from Mobley and 16 from Love.
Washington scored 10 of the first 12 points in the third quarter to extend its advantage to 15 points. Kuzma’s driving layup and Deni Avdija’s 3-pointer later in the quarter pushed the Wizards’ lead to 89-69.
A Dylan Windler basket brought Cleveland within 15 points with 8:04 remaining in the fourth quarter, but Caldwell-Pope drained consecutive 3-pointers to halt the momentum.
The Cavaliers did not seriously threaten the Wizards the rest of the way.
Washington made 13 of 22 shots from the floor to seize a 31-30 lead after the first quarter. Kuzma scored eight points and Beal added seven for the Wizards, who overcame Mobley’s sizzling 7-of-8 performance in the period.
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