OKLAHOMA CITY -- Bradley Beal played his most minutes (30) in almost two months for the Wizards, but he's not ready to reclaim his starting spot at shooting guard as they play tonight vs. the Thunder at Chesapeake Energy Arena (CSN, CSNmidatlantic.com and NBC Sports Live Extra, 7:30 p.m.).
"I'm still coming off the bench. My minutes are around 28 (on average)," Beal said after the morning shootaround. "Probably will be like that for the next game or two and then we'll see where I'm at from there."
Beal had 11 points in Saturday's comeback 123-122 win at the Houston Rockets. He had 17 points in 26 minutes in Thursday's 117-113 loss to the Denver Nuggets in which a players-only meeting was called by Jared Dudley.
That's an average of 28 minutes since returning from a concussion and playing with a mask to protect a broken nose that caused him to miss one game. In the five games he had played leading up to those injuries, Beal hadn't played more than 25 minutes since returning from a stress reaction in his lower right leg that had him on the shelf from Dec. 10-Jan. 12.
Garrett Temple has started each game in his place. The players-only meeting galvanized them for the game in Houston, but it remains to be seen if that focus carries over against an elite team such as the Thunder.
"We have a little bit more control than we think," Beal said. "We can control the way we play, our approach to the game, our mentality, our energy. ... We realize that and we're going to hold each other accountable. It's just what we needed."