Bradley Beal will not play for the Washington Wizards when the 2019-20 NBA season resumes in Florida because of a right rotator cuff injury. 

Beal had been bothered by the injured shoulder since mid-January but had not missed any games before the season was halted because of the coronavirus pandemic in March. 

Wizards general manager Tommy Sheppard, however, said the team is worried that the guard will not be able to get back to full speed coming out of the lengthy stoppage and could suffer further damage.

"Bradley did everything possible to be ready to play, but after closely monitoring his individual workouts we came to the conclusion that it was best for him to sit out the upcoming games in Orlando and avoid the risk of further injury," Sheppard said.

"Although he was able to play through the majority of the season with the injury, the layoff from March until now did not leave any of us feeling comfortable that he would have enough time to be ready to perform at the extremely high level we are all accustomed to seeing and agreed that not participating in the games in Orlando was the right decision."

Beal was flourishing on the court before the season went on pause, averaging 35.5 points in his final 23 games – including back-to-back 50-point performances late in February.

His average of a career-best 30.5 points per game on the season trailed only the Houston Rockets' James Harden's scoring average of 34.4. 

"This was a difficult decision and one that I did not take lightly as the leader of this team," Beal said.

"I wanted to help my team-mates compete for a playoff spot in Orlando, but also understand that this will be best for all of us in the long term. I appreciate the support of my team-mates, the fans and the entire organization and look forward to returning next season to continue the progress we have made."

The Wizards had the Eastern Conference’s ninth-best record at 24-40 at the time the season went on pause, but were five and a half games back of the eighth-place Orlando Magic with only eight games to catch them in the NBA's restart at ESPN's Wide World of Sports Complex outside of Orlando. 

Bradley Beal is delighted to be in esteemed company after becoming the first player since the late Kobe Bryant to drop 50-plus points on consecutive nights.

The 26-year-old followed up his 53-point showing in the Washington Wizards' 126-117 loss to the Chicago Bulls with a career-high 55 against the Milwaukee Bucks on Monday.

Despite Beal's impressive scoring, the Wizards were unable to pull off an upset as they fell to a 137-134 loss to the Eastern Conference leaders after overtime, with Khris Middleton pouring in 40 points.

Beal's big game came on the day Bryant was memorialised at the Staples Centre in Los Angeles following his tragic death in a helicopter crash last month.

The Los Angeles Lakers legend was the last player to reach half a century on successive nights in March 2007, something Beal was not aware of heading into the game.

"Oh man, that's crazy," he told NBC Sports Washington. "I didn't know that. That's who Kobe was. 

"That was his drive and that ceremony today just brought the feeling, the tears all back again today."

Beal joins a list of just three players to have scored 53-plus in back-to-back games, alongside James Harden and Wilt Chamberlain.

"It's pretty damn cool. That's pretty cool," he is quoted as saying by The Athletic. "I wanna win, but that's a cool attribute. 

"Those are two greats, two Hall of Famers for sure. And I'm happy to be in good company.

"I was just locked in and I was having fun. It was definitely the most fun game I've ever played in."

Bradley Beal could not hide his anger over being snubbed in the NBA All-Star selection, describing himself as "p****d off".

The two-time All-Star was overlooked as the reserve list was revealed on Thursday, the Washington Wizards guard joining Phoenix Suns star Devin Booker as a notable absentee.

When asked about the matter following the Wizards' 121-107 win over the Charlotte Hornets, Beal did not hold back.

"I'm a little p****d off about it," he told NBC Sports Washington. "I know how I am, [so] I was kind of expecting it, honestly.

"It's disrespectful, but the real ones know [I'm an All-Star]. I'll just keep competing. I'm going to try to get my team in the playoffs for sure."

Beal's agent jumped to the 26-year-old's defence, also citing his loyalty to the Wizards after he signed a new deal in pre-season.

"It's just very frustrating and disappointing for a guy to put up historic numbers, and he made the conscious decision this summer to stay the course and to play his heart out with great leadership to build something in Washington, as opposed to jumping ship to take an easier path," Mark Bartelstein told ESPN.

The statistics show Beal has a strong case to have been included, with his average of 28.7 points per game putting him sixth overall.

He beat that average against the Hornets, putting up 34 points, with nine rebounds and nine assists. 

LeBron James and Luka Doncic celebrated their All-Star selections with brilliant performances in valuable NBA road victories on Thursday.

James, who will captain Team LeBron against Team Giannis in Chicago next month, led the Los Angeles Lakers to a gritty 128-113 win over the Brooklyn Nets.

The 35-year-old posted a triple-double with 27 points, 12 rebounds and 10 assists to spoil Kyrie Irving's return after a game out with hamstring tightness.

The former Cleveland Cavaliers team-mates were facing each other for the first time since Irving (20 points) joined the Nets in July 2019.

Doncic gained his first All-Star selection after topping the Western Conference backcourt vote and then inspired the Dallas Mavericks to a 133-125 win against the Portland Trail Blazers.

His nine assists and team-high 27 points ensured 47 from Damian Lillard went in vain as the Mavs prevailed for the fifth time in six games.

Beal brilliant in Wizards' win

After losing to the Heat in Miami, the Washington Wizards bounced back to defeat the Cleveland Cavaliers 124-112.

Bradley Beal went 15 of 22 from the field for 36 points and eight assists in a sublime performance at Quicken Loans Arena.

 

Simons fizzles in losing cause

Lillard and Carmelo Anthony (16 points) had to be productive for the beaten Trail Blazers given Anfernee Simons' struggles on home court.

The 20-year-old guard contributed just five points in 23 minutes on the floor.

 

AD denies Kyrie!

Anthony Davis sent a message to Irving and the Nets with a huge rejection in the third quarter.

Thursday's results

Washington Wizards 124-112 Cleveland Cavaliers
Los Angeles Lakers 128-113 Brooklyn Nets
Dallas Mavericks 133-125 Portland Trail Blazers 

 

Clippers at Heat

Providing he overcomes knee soreness, Jimmy Butler will seek to prove he should have been an All-Star starter when the Miami Heat (31-13) host the Los Angeles Clippers (31-14) on Friday.

James Harden almost scored 60 points as the Houston Rockets won a high-scoring thriller against the Washington Wizards, while the Golden State Warriors' season went from bad to worse after Stephen Curry broke his hand.

Harden posted 59 points to lead the Rockets to a stunning 159-158 victory over the Wizards in NBA action on Wednesday.

MVP in 2017-18, Harden was 18-of-32 shooting while going 17 of 18 from the free-throw line as the Rockets registered a franchise-record score.

Rockets team-mate Russell Westbrook had another triple-double, scoring 17 points, 12 assists and 10 rebounds.

Wizards star Bradley Beal had 46 points of his own on 14-of-20 shooting, including seven of 12 from beyond the three-point line.

Curry, meanwhile, suffered a broken left hand in Golden State's 121-110 loss to the Phoenix Suns midweek.

The Warriors star landed heavily on his wrist in the third quarter and did not return as Golden State lost for the first time in four games.

It is another huge blow for the Warriors, who are already without injured All-Star Klay Thompson and Kevin Durant – who left for the Brooklyn Nets.

As for the Los Angeles Clippers, they lost 110-96 to the Utah Jazz after resting superstar Kawhi Leonard.

 

Siakam soars as Raptors roar

Pascal Siakam recorded 30 points for defending champions the Toronto Raptors, who topped the Detroit Pistons 125-113. Andre Drummond had 21 points and 22 rebounds in a losing effort.

Tristan Thompson posted 23 points and 10 rebounds in the Cleveland Cavaliers' 117-111 win over the Chicago Bulls.

Nikola Vucevic had 21 points and 13 rebounds as the Orlando Magic were 95-83 winners against the New York Knicks.

Kemba Walker put up 32 points, six rebounds and six assists as the Boston Celtics overcame a 19-point deficit to beat the Milwaukee Bucks 116-105.

 

Wiggins highlights Timberwolves' woes

Andrew Wiggins had decent offensive numbers with 19 points, but the Minnesota Timberwolves were minus-27 with him on the floor in a 117-95 loss to the unbeaten Philadelphia 76ers.

 

Sabonis sizzles

Domantas Sabonis had 29 points and a nifty move to the basket in the Indiana Pacers' 118-108 win over the Nets.

 

Wednesday's results

Philadelphia 76ers 117-95 Minnesota Timberwolves
Cleveland Cavaliers 117-111 Chicago Bulls
Orlando Magic 95-83 New York Knicks
Toronto Raptors 125-113 Detroit Pistons
Boston Celtics 116-105 Milwaukee Bucks
Indiana Pacers 118-108 Brooklyn Nets
Portland Trail Blazers 102-99 Oklahoma City Thunder
Houston Rockets 159-158 Washington Wizards
Utah Jazz 110-96 Los Angeles Clippers
Charlotte Hornets 118-111 Sacramento Kings
Phoenix Suns 121-110 Golden State Warriors

 

Nuggets at Pelicans

The New Orleans Pelicans are still trying to get their first win of the season and they welcome a talented and deep Denver Nuggets team for the late game on Thursday.

Bradley Beal has signed a two-year, $72million contract extension with the Washington Wizards, according to his agent Mark Bartelstein.

All-Star guard Beal has been at the centre of hypothetical trades for months, but the Wizards have seemingly made it clear they have no interest in letting him go – though they are yet to confirm an agreement.

According to ESPN, the extension will begin in the 2021-22 season and includes a third-year player option for 2022-23. The deal guarantees the 26-year-old $130m over four years.

"Brad has always made it clear to me, that in a perfect world, he would never leave Washington,” Bartelstein told ESPN.

"He has felt an obligation to be the focal point in turning the Wizards into an elite team. He's thrilled about all the resources that [team owner] Ted [Leonsis] is pouring into the franchise and thrilled how committed [Leonsis] and [general manager] Tommy [Sheppard] are to building something special."

A recent report from The Washington Post suggested there was growing belief Beal would leave the Wizards, but he has been convinced to remain.

"Washington is where I've been the last seven years, going on eight. It would be great to play in one place forever," Beal told The Washington Post in June.

Beal averaged 25.6 points, 5.0 rebounds and 5.5 assists in 82 games for the Wizards last season. He shot 47.5 per cent from the field and 35.1 per cent from three-point range.

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