Steph's scoring title chances could improve with Beal injury


Steph Curry might just have locked up the scoring title for the 2020-21 NBA season.

Bradley Beal, who was a half-point behind the Warriors star entering Sunday's slate of games, will miss the Washington Wizards' game Monday night against the Atlanta Hawks with a hamstring strain, the team announced Sunday.

The shooting guard's strain is mild and an MRI ruled out significant injury, but his status for the Wizards' final three games after Monday still remains up in the air, The Athletic's Shams Charania reported Sunday citing sources.

Beal put up 50 points in 39 minutes on Saturday night before exiting the game as his hamstring tightened up. He wasn't able to play in overtime as the Wizards hung on to beat the Indiana Pacers 133-132.

He briefly overtook Steph with his second 50-point game of the season, but Steph jumped right back ahead with a 49-point outburst in the Warriors' 136-97 win over the Oklahoma City Thunder, one that only took him three quarters to produce.

Going into Sunday, Curry's 31.9 points per game tops the NBA, with Beal coming in at 31.4. The two guards are the only players in the league averaging 30 or more, as Philadelphia 76ers star Joel Embiid ranks third on the scoring list with 29.2 points per game.

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The Warriors and Wizards each have four games left, and both appear likely to end up in the play-in tournament in their respective conferences.


Beal told reporters after the game that it had been bothering him earlier in the game, and it remains to be seen whether Washington will try and get him back into action for the team's final few games before the postseason begins.

The Wizards are scheduled to play back-to-back games in Atlanta on Monday and Wednesday, followed by a pair of home games to close out the regular season. The Warriors host the top two seeds in the Western Conference -- the Utah Jazz and Phoenix Suns -- in their next two games before finishing with the New Orleans Pelicans and Memphis Grizzlies at Chase Center.

Beal will have to outscore Steph significantly over the last week of the regular season in order to usurp him in the race for the scoring title. Throwing in a strained hamstring only makes that more difficult.

At the very least, Steph's chances at a second scoring title just got a boost.

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