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Bradley Beal's 32 not enough in LA as playoff hopes slip away



The Washington Wizards lost to the Los Angeles Lakers 124-106 on Tuesday night. Here are five observations from the game …

1. The Wizards will live to fight another day at least technically.

Though they lost to the Los Angeles Lakers on Tuesday night and matched the season-high with their fifth straight defeat, they avoided playoff elimination due to the heat losing to the Magic. The inevitable has been delayed, at least for another 24 hours as Washington looks ahead to a bout with the Suns in Phoenix on Wednesday. One more loss and they are officially done.

At this point in the season, draft lottery position is more realistic and more important. And by losing in L.A., the Wizards helped themselves.

They dropped below the Grizzlies into the possession of the seventh-best lottery odds. That would not be a 31

.9 percent chance at a top-four pick. That's not bad at all.

2. With the Wizards' season effectively over, Bradley Beal appears intent on giving fans something to keep watching.

He was his usual self with a brilliant scoring effort despite his team's overall result. Beal went off for 32 points on 10-for-19 shooting to go along with five rebounds and a block.

All of that, of course, revved up the take machines on social media about Beal's future and whether it will be LA as the Lakers search for more stars. He probably did well at a good showing, though Anthony Davis.

3. Trevor Ariza gave it a go in this one after missing the last two games due to a serious injury. Against the Lakers, he only lasted seven minutes before going out again.

Ariza left in the first quarter and never returned. He actually played pretty well while he was on the court with six points on 2-of-4 from the field. But with the Wizards basically out of playoff contention, there was no reason to fight through the pain.

With only seven games left on the Wizards . Certainly, Wednesday, on the second night of a back-to-back, wouldn't make much sense. And then after that, as the games truly become meaningless, what's the point with him set to hit the agency and the Wizards with the potential to improve their draft lottery odds?

Given Ariza's injury, age and contract status, and the Wizards 'place in the standings, it seems like shutting him down for the season could be a viable option at some point soon here.

4. This game featured a moment in which super viral appeared on NBA Twitter, but that should not have a closer look.

Lance Stephenson squared up in isolation with Jeff Green. He dribbled side to side and got Green to lose his balance. Stephenson hit the shot and one of the best bench reactions of the NBA season ensued. One guy laid on the floor if he had died

It was a fun play and the reaction was amazing, but Stephenson definitely did step on Green's foot. That's not as cool as crossing him over straight-up. But, hey, everyone loves when Lances makes them dance

5. There were more indications on Tuesday that head coach Scott Brooks and the Wizards have entered evaluation mode. For one, with Ariza back, they kept Troy Brown Jr. in the starting lineup.

It's not that they need to see more from Bobby Portis, who was sent back to the bench, but they know Brown will be on the grid next season and have to give him the opportunity to develop. It's almost like they are playing catch-up in that regard after not utilizing him basically at all for months to the beginning of the season. up with 16 minutes. He is another guy who has not seen this season but can use more film as they look ahead to next season and make decisions on who to keep.

MORE WIZARDS NEWS: [19659023]
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