While team success has been hard to come by for Beal in D.C., the No. 3 pick in the 2012 draft has developed into one of the game’s best shooting guards. On Wednesday, with a limited number of fans in the stands at Capital One Arena for the first time this season, the Wizards and Warriors will continue their playoff pushes in a matchup featuring the league’s top scorers in Curry (31.4 points per game) and Beal (31.1). Here’s a by-the-numbers look at their individual showdown and what’s shaping up to be a close race for the scoring title over the final month of the season.
Consecutive days Beal led the NBA in scoring after taking over the lead by scoring a career-high 60 points and matching Gilbert Arenas’s franchise single-game scoring record in a loss to the 76ers on Jan. 6. Curry, who has been scorching hot, overtook Beal in the scoring race with a 49-point game Monday.
Curry’s scoring average in 10 April games on 55 percent shooting, including 50 percent from three-point range. Only James Harden, Elgin Baylor, Kobe Bryant and Wilt Chamberlain have averaged at least 40 points in a month (minimum 10 games) in NBA history. After averaging a season-low 26.1 points in March, Beal has averaged 29.7 points in seven April games and has eclipsed 30 points in five straight.
Curry’s offensive real plus-minus, an ESPN metric designed to measure a player’s on-court effect on his team’s offensive performance, measured in points scored per 100 offensive possessions. That’s the best in the league by more than four points. Beal is eighth at 5.43.
Games in which Curry has made at least 10 three-pointers this season, with four of those performances coming in his past five games. Beal made a season-high seven three-pointers in his 60-point game, but he’s shooting a career-low 34 percent from long range this season.
The Wizards’ record this season when Beal scores at least 40 points. Golden State is 6-2 when Curry reaches the same mark. Before Beal scored 43 points in a March 18 win against the Jazz, Washington had lost an NBA record 11 consecutive games in which he eclipsed 40 points.
The Warriors’ record against the Wizards in 13 career head-to-head matchups between Beal and Curry. Beal scored six points in the final 6.1 seconds to lift Washington to a 110-107 win over Golden State in San Francisco earlier this month.
The number of times Beal has outscored Curry in their 13 head-to-head matchups. Beal matched Curry’s 25 points in Washington’s win over the visiting Warriors on Feb. 28, 2017, but Curry has won the individual scoring battle every other time. Curry averaged 30.2 points in those games, including a pair of 51-point outbursts, while Beal averaged 16.5 points, with a high of 25. With Curry out with a hand injury, Beal averaged 38.5 points in two games against Golden State last season.
Difference in the average defensive rating between the teams remaining on the Warriors’ schedule (112.7) and the teams remaining on the Wizards’ schedule (111.2). Curry’s seemingly easier path to the scoring title includes one game against Sacramento (league-worst 117.5 defensive rating), one game against Minnesota (28th, 114.9) and three games against New Orleans (27th, 112.6). Beal and the Wizards have 15 games remaining, which is one more than the Warriors. Washington’s upcoming slate includes a date with the Lakers, who boast a league-best defensive rating of 106.
Playoff games Curry has started en route to winning three NBA titles, compared to 40 for Beal, who has yet to advance past the Eastern Conference semifinals. Both teams are in playoff contention heading into Wednesday’s game. At 29-29, Golden State is ninth in the Western Conference. At 24-33, Washington is tied with Chicago for 10th in the Eastern Conference.
Scoring title for Curry, who led the league with 30.1 points per game in 2015-16. Beal averaged a career-best 30.5 points last season, finishing runner-up in the scoring race to Harden.
“I’m not trying to focus on going out and winning that,” Beal said after Monday’s win over the Thunder. “I don’t need to score 40 or 50 every night, because I have a lot of help on our team. Would I like to win it? One hundred percent, but I’m not trying to go out each and every night, chucking the ball up, trying to win the scoring title. I want to try to get into the playoffs and help my team win.”