Bradley Beal leaves Wizards' loss to Lakers with hamstring injury

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Beal leaves Wizards' loss with hamstring injury originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington

WASHINGTON -- Bradley Beal left Sunday's loss to the Lakers with a right hamstring strain and as of postgame media availability, the Wizards did not have specifics in terms of the severity or how long he could be out. Washington has two days off before their next game, at the Bulls on Wednesday, and his status will depend on how his leg responds.

Head coach Wes Unseld Jr. described how Beal hurt himself before exiting for the locker room.

"It was just on a play in the first quarter, he was trying to drive to the basket on the right wing and he just felt a little pull," he said.

While the Wizards are not sure if Beal will miss any time, his teammates feel confident they can pick up the slack if he does. Both Kristaps Porzingis and Kyle Kuzma mentioned how the team was able to get by when he missed five games in November due to health and safety protocols.

The Wizards went 4-1, winning four straight games before he returned on Nov. 16.

"It's big shoes that we have to fill, the rest of the team. I think we had moments when Brad was out with COVID where we responded and played pretty well. We played with high energy, we knew we had to pick up and everybody picked up," Porzingis said.

Porzingis added that defense is the key to the Wizards compensating for Beal's loss. He feels they have enough offense remaining to score points, but have to play airtight defense in order to win. They were able to do that during that five-game run in November, holding opponents to 102.4 points per game, about 10 below their season average of 112.5.

"We've just gotta play hard, you know what I mean? We've done pretty well when he's out of the lineup, so hopefully certain guys that when he's back in, they kind of suppress themselves a little bit, hopefully they can come out of it a little bit and get some confidence," Kuzma said.

Beal, 29, left Sunday's game with two points in four minutes. He had 20 points or more in all eight of his games since returning from health and safety protocols. He had a season-high 33 points in the Wizards' loss to the Hornets on Friday in Charlotte.

Beal leads the Wizards in scoring this season at 22.9 points per game on a career-high 52.2% shooting from the field.