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Beal may pay for flagrant foul

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Beal may pay for flagrant foul

Since the start of training camp, the Wizards have urged rookie Bradley Beal to play with more aggression.

Seems like the 19-year-old guard is starting to listen, possibly at his own expense.

On Wednesday night in Boston, Beal was getting an earful from Celtics veteran Paul Pierce until he swatted away one of his shots.

“He was talking a little bit,” Beal said, “so I just blocked it and shut him up a little bit.”

On Friday night, with 23.7 seconds remaining in the Wizards’ 101-91 loss to the Milwaukee Bucks, the normally mild-mannered Beal felt the sting of his first NBA ejection.

With the Bucks leading 99-90 Bucks guard Monta Ellis was cruising in for an uncontested layup when Beal caught him from behind and knocked him to the floor with a hard foul.

Ellis landed on a female attendant on the floor and Beal quickly extended his hand to to lift Ellis off the floor. That’s when Jennings arrived and pushed Beal from behind, knocking him to the floor.

“I went for the ball but they called it a flagrant 2,” Beal said. “It is what it is. I guess [Jennings] called that defending his teammate and came and pushed me, but that’s all a part of basketball. It gets physical and I just have to deal with it.”  

Players pushed and shoved and Beal and Ellis, each of whom finished with a game-high 22 points, were escorted to their locker rooms.

“I didn’t think I was going to get kicked out for it,” Jennings said. “I was just trying to protect my teammate. Because of the way [Ellis] fell I didn’t know if he was hurt.”

According to the NBA rulebook, a flagrant 2 foul is “unnecessary and excessive contact committed by a player against an opponent. It is an unsportsmanlike act and the offender is ejected following confirmation by instant replay review.

“The offender will be subject to a fine not exceeding $50,000 and/or suspension by the Commissioner.”

Jennings defended his actions, saying he was sticking up for his teammate. He and Beal will learn Saturday if they will receive further disciplinary action from the NBA. The Wizards face the Pacers in Indiana on Saturday night; the Bucks are home against Boston.

“I’m not a guy who gets kicked out a lot, gets technical fouls or starts fights,” Jennings said. “This is one of my first incidents ever. I just have to wait and see.”

Ellis said he was most upset that Beal would take him out that hard while he was in flight.

“When you see somebody up in the air that high and you can’t make a basketball play I don’t think you should try to block a shot when I was already ahead,” he said. “Who knows what their coach tells them, to fight through every play. I just ended up in a bad situation.”

Wizards coach Randy Wittman praised Beal for his aggressiveness in getting down the floor and challenging Ellis.

“We don’t want to hurt anybody but you want to play it out,” Wittman said. “I want our guys to stay aggressive. We don’t want to do anything over the line, though.”

 

 

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The Wizards dominated Game 3 because everybody ate ... literally

The Wizards dominated Game 3 because everybody ate ... literally

The Wizards returned to Washington, D.C. on Friday down 0-2 to the Raptors in their best-of-seven 2018 NBA Playoffs first-round series

The team lost a close one in Game 1 and was run out of the building in Game 2. Game 3 was must-win, and the Wizards knew what needed to happen in order for them to secure the victory.

"Everybody eats." 

That's the phrase that has defined the Wizards throughout much of the season They are at their best when John Wall is making players and feeding his teammates.

On Friday night, the Wizards beat the Raptors 122-103 to force at least a Game 5. Wall finished with 28 points and 14 assists.

Bradley Beal finally broke out of his slump for 28 points and  Marcin Gortat, Mike Scott and Kelly Oubre all chipped in with at least 10 points.

But the stat sheet wasn't the only place where everybody eats.

Here's Marcin Gortat from Game 3. 

But if pantomiming isn't your thing, here is Bradley Beal actually eating popcorn during Game 3.

So what did we learn in Game 3? Well, for starters: "Everybody Eats" is not just a motto, it is a way of life.

MORE FROM WIZARDS-RAPTORS SERIES:

GORTAT DITCHES MOHAWK, TEAMMATES APPROVE

MUST-SEE MOMENTS FROM WILD GAME 3

BEAL GOT AN APOLOGY FROM SCOTT BROOKS

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With Playoff Beal back, the Wizards are revitalized in playoff series vs. Raptors

With Playoff Beal back, the Wizards are revitalized in playoff series vs. Raptors

The Toronto Raptors were only going to hold Bradley Beal down for so long. After two so-so games to begin the Wizards-Raptors playoff series, the All-Star shooting guard was bound to find his way offensively and that arrival came in a Game 3 win on Friday night.

Beal was brilliant and much more in line with what he's shown in the postseason throughout his career. Game 2 was his worst playoff game as an NBA player, he scored only nine points. Game 3 was one of his best on the postseason stage, or at least one of his most timely and important.

The Wizards needed more from Beal to give themsevles a chance in this series. An 0-3 deficit would have been a death sentence. His production is so key to their success that head coach Scott Brooks and point guard John Wall met with Beal in between Games 2 and 3 to figure out how to get him going.

Whether that was the catalyst or not, the results followed. Beal poured in 28 points in 10-for-19 shooting with four rebounds, four assists and three steals. He hit four threes, more than he had in the first two games combined.

Beal wasted no time to make an impact scoring the ball. His first points came on a quick burst to the basket where he stopped on a dime, turned around and banked it in. By the end of the first quarter, he had 12 points in 11 minutes.

“I just wanted to be aggressive, get shots that I wanted which is what they were going to force me to take," Beal said.

After Game 2, Brooks and Beal described how physical the Raptors were defending him. They were holding on to him and staying close, even when he wasn't moving off the ball.

Brooks saw a difference in how Beal responded to that in Game 3.

"Brad came out and was looking to go towards the basket and not just letting them hold him and going along with it. He didn’t want to dance with his opponent, he wanted to get away from them. That was a critical part of his success," Brooks said.

Beal's 28 points were as much as he scored in Games 1 and 2 together and just about what he averaged through four games against the Raptors during the regular season (28.8). By halftime of Game 3, Beal had 21 points on 8-for-11 from the field.

Beal hit two threes in the first quarter and another two in the second quarter. Several of those threes were set up by Wall, who used the meeting with Brooks and Beal to ask how he can set him up better as the point guard.

In Game 3, they were on the same page.

"I do think this man [John Wall] next to me, he creates and facilitates for the whole team and gets everybody easy shots," Beal said. "I talk to you guys all the time and I can’t tell you the last time I actually got a regular catch and shoot three just in a regular half court set. When he came back, I got like three or four off the bat."

What Beal did in Game 3 is what the Wizards are used to seeing from him this time of the year. Despite being only 24 years old, he has a strong track record in the playoffs.

Through 37 career postseason games, Beal is averaging 22.3 points, more than his career average of 18.7 in the regular season. In each of his previous three postseason runs, he has averaged more points during the playoffs than he did in the regular seasons leading up.

That production has earned him the nickname 'Playoff Beal' and when he goes off like he did in Game 3, good things usually happen. The Wizards are 10-6 in the playoffs during his career when he scores 25 points or more.

Wall also boasts impressive career numbers in the playoffs. When the Wizards have both of their stars playing at their best, they are hard to beat. With peak Beal on board, this series looks a lot different than it did not that long ago.

MORE FROM WIZARDS-RAPTORS SERIES:

GORTAT DITCHES MOHAWK, TEAMMATES APPROVE

MUST-SEE MOMENTS FROM WILD GAME 3

BEAL GOT AN APOLOGY FROM SCOTT BROOKS

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