Wake-up call: At least Bradley Beal's ankle isn't an issue

Wake-up call: At least Bradley Beal's ankle isn't an issue
March 20, 2014, 6:00 am
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Bradley Beal's right ankle is holding up just fine, two games after having to be carried off the floor when he rolled it. Beal has played 37 and 42 minutes and hasn't showed signs of being slowed down. 

The Wizards (35-32), however, have slowed. They've lost three of their last five games and Beal hasn't been on his A-game for a while. He'll need it to combat the high-scoring offense of the Portland Trail Blazers who will be Thursday's opponent (CSN, 10 p.m. ET). 

"We couldn't get stops down the stretch and basically we were up five, game in our hands, they just came down and made more plays than us," Beal said after Tuesday's surprising loss at the Sacramento Kings, a game the Wizards had in control late in the fourth quarter before losing 117-111 in overtime. "They wanted it more than we did, especially rebounding."

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The Wizards were minus-16 in rebounding at 57-41. In the fourth quarter and the five-minute overtime period, the Wizards were outrebounded by 10. 

Better shooting from Beal, who went down in a game Friday and had to be carried off the court but didn't miss any time because it was just a sprain and the swelling was minimal, would help. So can a better attitude going into Portland. After this game, there'll only 14 games left as the Wizards are heading in the wrong direction in the East standings. 

"Our mood was kind of bad going into overtime," Beal said of the loss in Sacramento. "We were like, 'Dang, we should've just won it outright. ...

"You can't make up games now. Every game counts."