The Suns didn’t consider exceeding Bradley Beal‘s minutes restriction when Wednesday’s game at Chicago went into overtime, writes Jamal Collier of ESPN. Beal was making his season debut after missing the team’s first seven games with a back injury, so there was no chance he was going to play more than 24 minutes, even with the game in doubt.
“I can be hard-headed and go play 30 minutes when I know I’m not supposed to,” Beal said. “But how will I feel after that? Probably not the greatest. So that’s why I lean on our staff and our doctors to be the voice for me. Because I’ll be hard-headed and go out there and play.”
Beal posted 13 points, four rebounds and four assists in his first regular season contest since being acquired from Washington in an offseason trade. Even on a subpar shooting night that saw him go 3-of-12 from the field, he showed the benefits he can provide for Phoenix’s offense.
“Just somebody else the defense is scared of,” Kevin Durant said. “Somebody who can score at all three levels. Brad going downhill is a problem. So, as much as we can get him going downhill and also just setting him up in iso so he can beat his man will be great for us. Tonight, he just got his feet wet. He’s on a restriction minute-wise, but as he comes off of that he’s going to be more and more confident. We’ve just got to give him the ball more.”
There’s more on the Suns:
- Devin Booker worked out before Wednesday’s game, but there’s no indication of when he might play again, tweets Duane Rankin of The Arizona Republic. A report on Wednesday suggested that Booker may be able return from his right calf strain as soon as Friday, but coach Frank Vogel said he’s “making progress, but no firm timetable.”
- Keita Bates-Diop‘s overtime heroics showed why Vogel has been trusting him as a starter for the past three games, Rankin adds in a full story. The 27-year-old forward, who was added in free agency this summer, sparked the Suns’ late comeback by drilling a three-pointer with 1:06 left in overtime to cut the Bulls’ lead to one point. He also forced DeMar DeRozan to take a difficult shot on Chicago’s final possession.
- Jordan Goodwin wore a mask in Wednesday’s game after suffering a jaw contusion Sunday in Detroit, Rankin tweets.