It’s not often in the NBA when a player can explode with 60 points in a brilliant individual performance — and even rarer when it’s not enough to win the game.
That happened in the Philadelphia 76ers’ 141-136 win over the Washington Wizards as Bradley Beal hit exactly 60 but still lost the game.
The individual performance saw Beal tie Gilbert Arenas’ franchise record set on December 17 2006 while the move to give Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons perimeter shooters has paid off.
Danny Green hit five from eight from three point range and Embiid and Tobias Harris hit three each, but Seth Curry hit six from seven as the 76ers shot 62.1 per cent from outside the arc.
But it was Beal’s game as he piled on 57 points in the first three quarters.
Matisse Thybulle was on the star as he was restricted to just three points in the fourth quarter and came up with a key stop.
Despite Ben Simmons being seen as a potential Defensive Player of the Year candidate, he stayed on Russell Westbrook with Philadelphia coach Doc Rivers said Simmons was doing what he needed to do.
“I guess after 60 we probably could’ve made the change,” he said. “We liked what Ben was able to do as a roamer with Westbrook. We thought he could get a lot of easy baskets.”
Westbrook even left the game with 26 seconds left with the Wizards new star reportedly dislocating his finger.
Philadelphia led 82-67 at the main break it appeared as though former NBA star Kendrick Perkins could have jinxed the side when he tweeted at halftime as the Wizards came back to pull level at 131-all with four minutes left.
But after that, Embiid hit eight straight points to close it out.
“They pay me to take over the game,” Embiid said. “They pay me to dominate. That’s my job.
“I always give credit to my teammates. [But] I finished.”
Embiid finished with 38 points, eight rebounds, five assists three steals and three blocks, while Simmons had 17 points, 12 assists and six rebounds, as well as two steals.
Despite his game, Beal was frustrated by the loss.
“I’m pissed off,” Beal said. “I’m mad. I don’t count (them) … Any of my career highs, they’ve been in losses. So I don’t give a damn. You can throw it right out the window with the other two or three I’ve had.
“I just want to win. Sometimes you might be able to score 40, 50, 60, whatever the case may be, but I just want to win, whatever that looks like. We came up a little bit short tonight.”