LONDON — Wizards star Bradley Beal branded the suggestion it is easier for him to play without John Wall as “absolutely nonsense”.
Beal scored a game-high 26 points as the Wizards overturned a 19-point deficit to defeat the Knicks 101-100 in dramatic fashion at the O2 Arena in London.
After a dismal start to the season and injuries to point guard Wall and center Dwight Howard, Washington has strung together an impressive run to improve to 19-26.
Beal hit a pair of threes as the Wizards made a 17-2 run at the start of the fourth quarter and a mesmerizing victory was clinched via Allonzo Trier’s goaltending violation on a Thomas Bryant layup.
— Washington Wizards (@WashWizards) January 17, 2019
However, he emphatically denied the suggestion he finds it easier to flourish in Wall’s absence.
“It’s a lot harder to play without John Wall,” Beal said. “Me playing well or not is not based off of John. The fact of it is we don’t have John, so what else am I supposed to do?
“Everyone’s game has to step up. My minutes and my workload have increased tremendously. Obviously, no player wants to be out of the game but by no means is my job easier.
“You said John is one of the best players in the league, so with that being said that doesn’t make us a better team without John. That’s absolutely nonsense. I’m gonna nip that in the bud right now. That doesn’t make sense at all.
“We realize the fact we don’t have him and that’s the reality and we just have to continue to move forward and play without him here. Whatever it looks like that’s up to you guys to write, not us.”
— Washington Wizards (@WashWizards) January 18, 2019
Knicks coach David Fizdale rued his side’s “mental mistakes” on the defensive end but tried to stay upbeat after an 18th loss in 20 games.
“Offensively the ball died because their switching really got to us. Defensively, mental mistakes really hurt us in coverages in the wrong time,” Fizdale said.
“It’s another learning lesson. Another part of the game which we have to figure out is how to finish. I’m looking at our growth and how we’re in games late again which is good. A good experience for my guys and eventually they’ll get over the hump and grab a win.”