PHOENIX – Malik Beasley's games against Golden State and Phoenix were an encapsulation of his season.

On Thursday against Golden State, Beasley was 0-for-8 from three-point range.

On Friday against Phoenix, the Wolves couldn't afford to keep him off the floor for long, not with his 26 points on 9-for-18 shooting.

Such has been the heartbeat-monitor nature of Beasley's season. Up and down with wild swings high and low. After the 134-124 loss to the Suns, coach Chris Finch had some direct comments when asked how Beasley could build off this performance.

"It's on him now," Finch said. "He's got to have the right approach. He's got to stay confident and it's on him. Opportunity is never going to be the issue. Never going to be the issue."

That's because the Wolves are paying Beasley too much money to just sit him. He is making nearly $15 million this season and will make around $15.6 million next season with a team option for the following year. The Wolves signed Beasley to be the kind of consistent shooter he was a season ago when he was hitting threes at a clip of 40%. Flashes of that player have emerged at times this season, just not enough for the Wolves, with his three-point percentage languishing around 34%.

"Continue to keep working hard and doing what I was supposed to do," Beasley said. "I never change anything, I just make sure to keep sticking to what I do and trust my work. I did that tonight. I had fun tonight. Instead of being so timid or worried about things, just have fun."

Finch mentioned he was working with Beasley on trying to find ways to jumpstart him, like finding different lineup combinations, or calling plays for him more often. They have also been working on his shot, which Finch said has been a little flat. They have worked on Beasley's leg bend and release point.

Beasley is notorious for working out a lot in the gym. He said he scaled back of late.

"Some of my vets told me maybe scale it back down a little bit, because you put in a lot of work already," he said. "Today, I didn't do my usual back-to-back workout. I did an even lighter workout and maybe that helped. Maybe less is more right now."

Whatever it takes, because as his teammates said, the Wolves need Beasley to play like that.

"I need him," Anthony Edwards said. "Every night. Every game, every practice, I need him every day."

Added Karl-Anthony Towns: "A little bit of a funk, but one thing shooters do, they keep shooting. He just has to shoot himself out of this funk."

Edwards making his point

Finch said Wolves are hopeful D'Angelo Russell can return for Sunday's game against Utah after he sat out Friday because of a left shin contusion. That would be a welcome relief to Edwards, who handled point guard duties in Friday's loss. He did well enough — 27 points and a career-high 10 assists. He just doesn't like playing the point.

"D-Lo is needed because I don't like bringing the ball up the court," Edwards said. "I don't like initiating the offense, not at all."

When asked if playing point guard required energy, Edwards said it did, and said he prefers to be off the ball first.

"I'm a scorer first," Edwards said. "Initiating the offense, that means I got to get them in it instead of just being in the corner, coming off, getting the ball and scoring. So it's definitely different."