Bradley Beal was shoved to the floor by Brandon Jennings and ejected by the referees, but there were no further repercussions for his hard foul on Milwaukee Bucks guard Monta Ellis with 23.7 seconds remaining of the Wizards’ 101-91 loss on Friday at Verizon Center.
After reviewing the incident on Saturday, the NBA downgraded Beal’s infraction to a flagrant foul penalty one. Under league bylaws, Beal was eligible to get suspended and receive a fine of up to $50,000 after he was assessed a flagrant foul penalty two – unsportsmanlike contact defined as “unnecessary and excessive” – and an automatic ejection in the loss to Milwaukee.
But he didn’t get a suspension and his punishment has been reduced. A player receives two points for a penalty two flagrant foul and one point for a penalty one flagrant foul. Exceeding five points during the season will lead to an automatic one-game suspension and further suspensions for each additional flagrant foul.
With the Wizards trailing 99-90 in the fourth quarter against Milwaukee, Ellis intercepted a pass intended for Beal and Beal chased down Ellis as he elevated for layup. Trevor Booker was also in close pursuit and Ellis fell awkwardly to the ground when Beal attempted to block the shot.
“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.”
As Beal extended his hand to help us Ellis, Jennings nearly turned the incident into a melee when he placed both hands on Beal’s hip and pushed him down. Beal hopped up and exchanged a few words with Jennings, who also was ejected from the game.
“I was just trying to protect my teammate,” Jennings said. “I didn’t think I was going to get kicked out for it – the way [Ellis] fell, I didn’t know if he was hurt or anything like that – my mind was just to run over there toward him and move everybody else out of the way.”
Before scoring 17 points in the Wizards’ 89-85 loss on Saturday to the Indiana Pacers, Beal was relieved that he didn’t get suspended but worried that his pocket book could get dented.
“I don’t even know,” Beal said. “They might hit me with a fine, still. I hope not.”
Beal didn’t appear to be affected by his first career ejection in Indiana, as he scored in double figures for the third consecutive game. In the Wizards’ past three games, Beal has averaged 18.3 points and shot 50 percent (20-for-40) from the floor. After scoring a season-high 22 points against the Bucks, he made all three of his three-pointers against the Pacers.
“I feel confident. My confidence is going sky high right now,” Beal said. “I’m proud of myself and how I’m playing but I’m not, at the same time, because I know I can do better. I’m doing well scoring wise and defensively it’s just down the stretch, I have to step up more.”