By Lewis Gould
Crazy things sometimes happen in the NBA.
Like the woeful Wizards taking out the West-leading Utah Jazz.
Bradley Beal had 43 points and Russell Westbrook 35 points, 15 rebounds and 13 assists and the Wizards beat the Utah Jazz 131-122.
Washington broke a five-game losing streak overall and a nine-game skid against Utah.
Donovan Mitchell equaled a season high with 42 points for the Jazz, who at 29-11 still have the NBA’s best record but have lost four of six in March.
“We’re playing against the best team in basketball,” Washington coach Scott Brooks said. “Our antennas were up. We’ve got to do that every night.”
Utah’s Joe Ingles added a career-high 34 points, including eight 3-pointers.
It was Beal’s fifth 40-point game of the season. Westbrook’s 15 rebounds equaled a season high.
“We guarded for 48 minutes,” Beal said. “We just did a good job of making them uncomfortable. We executed on the offensive end. We made sure everyone was involved, but it was definitely the defense that won us the game.”
Washington scored 13 straight to take a 23-12 lead with 5:02 to play in the first quarter. The Wizards increased their lead to 64-40 just before halftime, and the Jazz got no closer than 112-105 with 6:20 to play.
“The urgency that we have on defense needs to improve,” Utah coach Quin Snyder said.
Washington had 24 points off 17 Jazz turnovers.
“I think teams are just playing more physical,” Mitchell said. “I think they just wanted it more.”
The Wizards lost a two-point game to Sacramento on Wednesday night.
“They played a tough game last night, but you couldn’t tell by the way the played,” Mitchell said.