Wizards guard Bradley Beal will miss his third straight game with a hamstring injury when Washington takes on the Cleveland Cavaliers on Friday, the team announced.
The Wizards ruled Beal out even as the team has yet to officially secure a spot in the NBA‘s play-in tournament. The Wizards’ magic number to clinch is one — meaning they have to either win just one game or the Chicago Bulls (29-40) have to lose once. That could come as soon as Thursday evening if the Bulls lose to the 27-42 Toronto Raptors.
Beal said on ESPN’s “First Take” this week that his hamstring injury wasn’t “too serious” and he hoped to return soon. Coach Scott Brooks said Beal was feeling better before Wednesday’s loss to the Atlanta Hawks, adding the guard was expected to get in some light work pre-game.
Beal suffered the injury last week in a win over the Indiana Pacers. The 27-year-old had 50 points, but the injury prevented him from playing the final seconds of the fourth quarter and all of overtime.
The Wizards have two games left in the regular season. After facing the Cavaliers on Friday, they’ll host the eighth-seeded Charlotte Hornets.
The NBA play-in tournament begins next week on Wednesday.
Beal is averaging a career-high 31.4 points per game this season. He is second in the league in scoring, slightly trailing Golden State’s Stephen Curry.