Paint it black: Wizards back up sartorial statement by thumping Celtics
It seemed a brazen idea from someone who had only recently snapped the worst three-point shooting slump of his career and played through the lingering effects of a sore left foot. But Beal showed up wearing a black Balmain coat, then backed up his fashion statement on the court with a game-high 31 points in a 123-108 win at Verizon Center.
“It is hoops, man. People talk. Nobody came in today expecting a fire or anything like that. We came out and played good basketball on both sides,” Beal said. “There [were] no dirty plays. It got a little chippy here and there, but that is part of the game. That is a playoff-type atmosphere. That is a team that is going to be in the playoffs and who is going to be a tough team to beat down the line, so we just came in and made sure we were locked in and ready to go from the get go.”
Beal, who made 12 of 18 shots from the field, was one of the starters who finished the game on the bench. He wildly waved a blue towel, then chest-bumped backcourt partner John Wall, and together they celebrated their league-best home streak of 14 straight wins.
Wall finished with 27 points, seven rebounds and seven assists , while Markieff Morris contributed 19 points and 11 rebounds .
The Wizards (25-20) have won two of the three regular season meetings against the Celtics. Though previous matchups had produced on- and off-court confrontations, the Wizards found a new way to beat this foe — just by shutting up and playing.
“We want to conduct ourselves in a professional manner. It’s a competition, but you want to keep it between the lines,” Coach Scott Brooks said. “We kept it between the lines, we competed, we moved on to the next game.”
Behind the bold statement to wear black — a unifying trick usually reserved for playoff games — the Wizards gave themselves little margin for error. Washington, fresh…