NBA Breakfast Special: Bradley Beal Eats All the Voodoo Donuts

The Washington Wizards recovered nicely from the pure embarrassment of getting smacked by the Utah Jazz on Monday, and on a SEGABABA in Portland, Bradley Beal went for 51 points, nearly half the output of the 106-92 win over the Trail Blazers.

Also, I don’t want to hear a word out of you Oregonians, because there is no UGH in donut. Even if it says so on the sign. You can put golden arches on a Jack in the Box, it’s still a Jack in the Box, and you can put three unnecessary letters in donut, it’s still dunkable for those of us who grew up in Boston and learned how to spell that word correctly.

Now then, semantic arguments aside, let’s talk basketball.

For one thing, nobody seriously expected the Wiz to be steaming hot garbage two nights in a row, but really, apart from Beal, who shot 21-of-37 from the field, 5-of-12 from three, and 4-of-5 from the line to get his 51, the rest of the team was 21-of-52 (40.4 percent), including 2-of-10 from Markieff Morris, 1-of-8 from Otto Porter, and 1-of-6 from Marcin Gortat. That’s a combined 4-of-24. 16.7 percent.

Portland, meanwhile, got an inefficient 30 from Damian Lillard, who shot 10-of-23, and an even less efficient 14-point night from C.J. McCollum, who shot 6-of-16.

The Blazers might’ve gotten away with that display of YMCA chucking had they not lost the turnover battle 18-10 and if they’d made more than 39.2 percent of their two-point shots (20-of-51.)

Bradley Beal went for 51…and the Wizards won the game closer than it should have.

Highlights from the man of the match:

Devin Booker Breaks Down

It’s bad enough that the Phoenix Suns got thumped in Toronto 126-113. It’s worse that Devin Booker was 4-of-15, especially since the rest of his team was 33-of-60 (55 percent) from the field and a brain-exploding 30-of-38 from the line (78.9 percent.)

But worst of all? Booker was carried off the court with an apparent groin injury that didn’t come from contact:

This was a battle of dueling Total Team Efforts. Phoenix got eight players into double figures; Toronto got seven. Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan led all scorers on either team with 20 points each; Lowry got his on 7-of-12, while DeRozan was 7-of-17.

Now as mentioned, the Suns shot the ball very well, Booker aside. They were 49.3 percent (37-of-75) from the field and 37.5 percent (9-of-24) from the three-point arc, all while benefiting from a ton of free throws.

So why did they lose?

Well, for one thing, the Suns got zero offensive rebounds. ZERO. Toronto had eight, and the Raptors shot the ball 92 times, making 44 (47.8 percent) and outshot Phoenix from three (the Raps were 15-of-36 overall for 41.7 percent, including 5-of-10 from Lowry.)

What’s more, Toronto won the turnover battle 17-15, and they shot the ball exceptionally well (23-of-26, or 88.5 percent) from the free throw line.

We see this stuff all the time. Basketball is a simple game. Move the ball (30 assists for Toronto against 23 for Phoenix), control the glass, don’t turn it over, and make your free throws.

The Raptors did this. Phoenix did not.


And Finally…

What happens when one team that’s great at home and sucks on the road plays another team that’s great at home and sucks on the road?

Well, the Oklahoma City Thunder improve to 9-3 at home (against 2-9 away) while the Utah Jazz fall to 2-8 on the road (they’re 11-4 at home.)

Russell Westbrook had an industrial-sized triple-double with 34 points, 13 rebounds, and 14 assists. Paul George added 21 on 7-of-13 shooting, and Steven Adams completed the Triple 20 with 20 points on 9-of-10 shooting in Oklahoma City’s 100-94 win over the Jazz, sparked by a mammoth fourth-quarter comeback in which the Thunder won the final frame by a 32-14 count after being down 80-68 through three.

Carmelo Anthony? Well, we really need to start asking if he’s washed up after 14 years in the league and a ton of international appearances. He doesn’t have the playoff mileage of someone like LeBron, but he’s been a great-stats-bad-team guy his whole career.

Melo was 6-of-19 from the field in getting his 14 points, and he looks entirely incapable of moving without the ball in his hands, something he never had to do in Denver or New York.

Take away his wretched shooting and the Thunder end up at 53.2 percent; they had to settle for 48.1.

Curiously, Oklahoma City won this game despite being dreadful from beyond the arc; they were 4-of-18, including 2-of-9 from Westbrook.

The Jazz, however, just stunk out the joint on the boards (losing that battle 46-35 and giving up way too many second chances for a team with Rudy Gobert on the floor), and aside from Donovan Mitchell, who was 11-of-22 from the field in getting 31 points, they just couldn’t find reliable scoring.

And how much of the Thunder’s ball movement goes through Westbrook setting up his teammates? How about the whole team having 18 assists. Russ had 14. Nobody else had more than one.

Of course you know who’s getting the highlight reel on this one:

Oh, and this is Russ’s eighth triple-double. And second in as many games. Would’ve been three straight but Melo ganked a board off him in last Friday’s Minnesota game because Carmelo Anthony is terrible.

Someone asked me why Pace and Space doesn’t have a comments section. It’s because comments sections are cesspits and I’m not big on doing moderation work, nor do I care to sift through spam that gets through the filters.

You want to talk b-ball with me? Follow me on Twitter @RealFoxD. I’m the good white guy with small hands who tweets late at night.

And thanks for reading!