NBA DAILY DRIBBLE: Bradley Beal keeps the Wizards afloat

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NBA results, December 6, 2017

Toronto Raptors 126 – Phoenix Suns 113

OKC Thunder 100 – Utah Jazz 94

Washington Wizards 106 – Portland Trail Blazers 92

Three things that happened in the NBA today

1. Bradley Beal carries the Wizards

Let’s put it bluntly. The Wizards suck without John Wall. They’re a team full of finishers with only two legitimate creators, Wall and Bradley Beal. In the past few years, Wall has been able to weather the storm alone whenever Beal was out with an injury. This time around it’s Wall who’s been out due to a lingering knee issue, leaving Beal to fend for himself.

So far, it hasn’t been good. The Wizards have been up and down without Wall. In their last game, they hit a new low when they lost by 44 points to the Utah Jazz. As a team, they were only able to put up 69 points with Beal limited to just 11 points. Against the Portland Trail Blazers, Beal and the Wizards had a chance to bounce back from their embarrassing performance in their last game.

Beal didn’t waste the chance. He carried the Wizards to a bounce back win, almost scoring 50% of the total team output. He erupted for 51 points ensuring two things: a win and a score higher than 69 points.

Beal, known more as a spot-up shooter coming out of college worked on his game in the offseason. He’s now an adept ball handler and a solid option to run the pick and roll game of the Wizards. Against the Blazers, he showed a new facet of his game. Beal is now a more confident finisher near the rim. He was aggressive attacking the Portland defense and finishing near the hoop for most of his 51 points.

2. Thunder come from behind to beat the Jazz

It’s safe to say that things haven’t gone as planned for the the OKC Thunder. After being hailed as a super team in the offseason, they find themselves languishing near the bottom of the Western Conference. The Thunder still haven’t found their rhythm a quarter of the way this season.

It looked like it was going to be another ugly loss as the Thunder fell into a 17-point hole against the Utah Jazz midway through the third period. Westbrook immediately went to work scoring five straight points to spark a comeback. He did everything for the Thunder, notching another triple-double in win.

With Westbrook owning most of the possessions during the run the fourth period, there was some fear among Thunder fans that he might take matters into his own hands in the end game. But he didn’t. Westbrook played in control and got Paul George and Carmelo Anthony involved.

Again, this could be something OKC can build on moving forward. That is if they choose to.

3. Devin Booker carried off with a groin injury

Another day, another NBA star down with an injury.

Just a day after he exploded for 46 points, Devin Booker had to be carried out of the game after straining his left abductor muscle.

The injury happened late in the Phoenix Suns’ loss to the Toronto Raptors. He was defending Fred Van Vleet in the back court. As Van Vleet crossed the half court line, Booker stopped and was holding on to his groin area.

There’s no timetable yet for his return.

Did an NBA superstar get ejected today?

No. But the Cavaliers welcome back Derrick Rose who returns to the team after a self-imposed separation from the team. While there’s no indication fro his return on court, his return is a good sign for both the Cavs and the former MVP.

Photo from Getty Images

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