Bradley Beal joins Kobe Bryant, Devin Booker in interesting company

Bradley Beal dropped 50 points in a loss for the second straight time, putting the Washington Wizards star in some pretty interesting company.

With back-to-back 50-point games, Bradley Beal has joined some good company and some unfortunate company in one fell swoop.

According to the Washington Wizards, Beal is the first player since Kobe Bryant in 2007 to drop 50-plus points on consecutive nights. Given that Monday was Kobe Bryant’s memorial, Beal’s second straight 50-plus-point performance is a fitting and touching tribute to one of the NBA’s all-time greats.

Unfortunately, both of Beal’s impressive scoring nights came in Wizards losses. After dropping 53 points on Sunday in a 126-117 loss to the Chicago Bulls, Beal followed it up Monday night with 55. This time, his big night came in a three-point overtime loss to the league-leading Milwaukee Bucks.

Against the Bulls, Beal shot 15-for-27 from the field, making five of his 11 3-pointers and going 18-for-20 from the foul line. In Washington’s showdown with Milwaukee, he went 19-for-33 from the floor, 8-for-13 from long range and 9-for-10 from the charity stripe.

In the process, Beal became the first player to drop 50-plus points in back-to-back losses since Devin Booker did it last year with the Phoenix Suns. In those games, Booker scored 59 against the Utah Jazz before racking up another 50 in a three-point loss to the Wizards. James Harden and Wilt Chamberlain also have that unfortunate distinction.

That “looter in a riot” stigma that follows Booker and other players putting up big numbers on bad teams is unfortunate, since the context always needs to be considered. Much like Booker’s supporting cast was pathetic when he went off in back-to-back losses, so too is Beal’s supporting cast this year. The same could be said of Trae Young, who earned a starting spot in the All-Star Game despite playing for one of the worst teams in the Eastern Conference.

It’s unfortunate some of these high-caliber performances will be remembered more so for the final result than anything else, but whether it’s All-Star debates (Beal was perhaps the biggest snub in the East, but a justifiable one, mostly because of his team’s record) or just the general narrative surrounding these players, the context is always important to consider, and at the end of the day, wouldn’t it be nice if we could just enjoy these scoring outbursts no matter the final score?

Michael Jordan‘s epic 69-point performance in Boston resulted in a loss too, ya know.

Next: Pacers falling apart at the worst time

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