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Capital One Arena host fans for first time since pandemic started; Beal thanks fans for being there

Those who attended were in their seats early to see the warmups, staying all the way through for what was a thrilling game.
Credit: AP
Basketball fans watch during the first half of an NBA basketball game between the Washington Wizards and the Golden State Warriors, Wednesday, April 21, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)

WASHINGTON — Bradley Beal rallied Washington in the fourth quarter for its season-best sixth straight victory, 118-114 over the Golden State Warriors on Wednesday night in the first Wizards home game with fans in more than a year. 

The District of Columbia agreed last week to allow 10% capacity at Capital One Arena, which equates to 2,100 per game.

Half the seats in the lower bowl remained covered by blue plastic and masked fans were sprinkled throughout all levels. Among those in attendance were 100 invited front-line health workers. The game hosts and dancers entertained fans virtually, and the national anthem was prerecorded.

Beal took a microphone at half court to thank the fans before tipoff.

Those who attended were in their seats early to see the warmups, staying all the way through for what was a thrilling game.

Coming off a historic 11-game stretch in which he made 78 3-pointers and surpassed Beal as the NBA's scoring leader, the Warriors Stephen Curry scored 18 points on 7-of-25 shooting, including 2 of 14 on 3s.

Beal scored 29 points as the glamorous matchup with Curry mostly fizzled until Washington's late rally. He pounded his chest after scoring on a drive with 2:44 left and drawing a sixth foul on Draymond Green. Beal converted the three-point play to bring Washington within one, and he found Davis Bertans for a 3-pointer that put the Wizards ahead for good with 2 minutes remaining.

Russell Westbrook had 14 points, a season-high 20 rebounds and 10 assists for Washington. The triple-double was his 27th of the season and 173rd of his career, second to Oscar Robertson’s 181.

Former Wizard Kelly Oubre Jr. led Golden State with 24 points in his second game at Washington, and first with the Warriors, since he was traded to Phoenix in December of 2018. Jordan Poole added 22 points and hit back-to-back 3-pointers midway through the fourth quarter that gave the Warriors an 11-point lead, their largest of the game.

Curry started 2 for 13 from the floor and 0 for 7 from 3-point range before he made a layup and a 3 in a 21-second span to get Golden State rolling midway through the third quarter. But he wasn't consistent enough to hold off Beal and Westbrook late. His final 3-point attempt from straight away with 1:17 left wasn't even close.

The Wizards lost rookie Deni Avdija to a scary-looking lower right leg injury late in the first half.


Wizards: F Rui Hachimura sat for the second consecutive game with a sore left knee. He remains day to day and hasn't had any setbacks, coach Scott Brooks said.


Wizards: At Oklahoma City on Friday night. Washington beat the Thunder at home on Monday.

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