Both Jennings and Beal were ejected for the final 23.7 seconds of the Wizards’ 101-91 loss at Verizon Center. The ejection soured an otherwise impressive night for Beal, who led five Wizards in double figures with a career-high 22 points but now faces a possible suspension for Saturday’s game in Indiana.
“It was just a foul,” said Beal, who was assessed a flagrant foul-penalty two on the play. “I went for the ball.”
The Wizards (0-4) will have to await word from the league office to find out if Beal will be available when they take on the Pacers. Coach Randy Wittman said he didn’t see the play but added: “We didn’t want to hurt anybody, but you want to play it out. I want our guys to stay aggressive. We don’t want to do anything over the line, though.”
Losing Beal would be a major setback for a Wizards team that is already without John Wall and Nene and has opened a season with four consecutive losses for the second year in row. After scoring just two points in his home debut last Saturday, Beal made a spectacular second impression, opening against the Bucks with a 20-foot jumper and spending the rest of the night attacking the basket and connecting on open jumpers. He even had his first two dunks of the season, exciting the crowd with a two-handed slam in the second half.
“Everybody’s been telling me to be more aggressive,” Beal said. “It went in and I just got in my mood, I just kept pushing and kept attacking, basically.”
Beal’s teammates also came out with purpose. The Wizards’ starters had enough of the slow starts that derailed them in their first two games. Emeka Okafor and Trevor Ariza had enough of sitting in the fourth quarter.
The Wizards addressed those concerns, with the team scoring the first 12 points of the game and Okafor and Ariza having their best performances since joining the team, but they were still unable to solve their greatest obstacle this season — getting a win. Jan Vesely made a jump-hook to tie the score at 72 late in the third quarter, but the Bucks scored the next 13 points. The Wizards twice got within five in the fourth quarter but could never make a serious threat.
“We rectified that problem that we’ve been having the last three games,” point guard A.J. Price said after scoring 12 points and handing out nine assists. “This game was more frustrating, moreso than the first three, because we should’ve won.”