A.J. Price is back in the place that he called home for the first three seasons of his career as the Wizards take on the Indiana Pacers at Banker’s Life Fieldhouse. Price has tried to downplay the emotion of his return, trying to focus on the task at hand for the Wizards.
“Just another game,” Price said. “That we clearly need to win.”
The Wizards chances are a little better after the NBA decided not to suspend rookie Bradley Beal for his flagrant foul penalty two on Milwaukee Bucks guard Monte Ellis with 23.7 seconds remaining in a 101-91 loss. Beal scored a career-high 22 points in defeat and didn’t realize that he would actually play until Coach Randy Wittman put his name in the lineup.
He felt that the contact didn’t warrant the reaction – especially from Bucks guard Brandon Jennings, who was ejected for shoving Beal to the ground. Beal felt that Ellis’s fall looked worse because Trevor Booker closed in on him as well.
“I really didn’t even foul him that hard,” Beal said. “It was the impact of two people; of course you’re going to fall. But my intention was not to hurt him. I clearly tried to pick him up.”
Wittman said he thought the league should downgrade the foul to a flagrant one after reviewing it. Beal hasn’t seen a replay of the incident but was hoping for a similar result.
“They might hit me with a fine, still. I hope not,” Beal said.
Price will make his fifth start at point guard – two more than he had his entire time in Indiana.
“It feels good to be out there playing,” Price said. “It’s what you ask for as a player. It’s what I’ve been asking for. I’d just feel better if we could put some wins together.”
Price stepped inside the visitor’s locker room on Saturday for the first time in his career.
“It’s decent, considering most places. It’s not bad. They got to upgrade a little bit, but it’s a lot of space,” he said, looking around. “Always good to see familiar faces. Especially when you have a good reputation with those people. Other people on our staff, it’s good to see them. This will always have a special place in my heart.”
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Tipoff: 7 p.m.
TV: Comcast SportsNet
Radio: 106.7 (WJFK FM)
Once the contest starts, check out a live box score for the game here.