Wizards’ Bradley Beal, Mavs’ Luka Doncic downplay any serious beef over chippy 4th quarter
Washington Wizards star Bradley Beal and Dallas Mavericks guard Luka Doncic agreed there was no malicious intent or beef during their fourth quarter spat on Wednesday’s season opener. The two players downplayed the importance of their physical play late in the game, claiming it was merely competitive spirit taking over.
“It was just hoops,” said Beal following his ejection after two quick technical fouls at the 1:09 mark of the fourth, according to Tim MacMahon of ESPN. “You could see when I got kicked out, he came up and was the first one to dap me, so he understood what it was. We weren’t fighting. It was just basketball, trying to frustrate him. He was kicking our butts, so you’ve got to do something.”
“He had it going all night. He’s a tough guard. He’s a physical guy. He can get any shot pretty much that he wants, and I think we let him get a little bit too comfortable. Granted, he was able to draw fouls in that aspect, but I think it was still a lot of 3s he got, a lot of straight-line drives. I just wanted to frustrated him a little bit.”
Doncic finished the game with 34 points (one shy of his career-high) and nine rebounds, shooting the ball impressively well from beyond the arc and driving the ball with power and resolve. Beal meanwhile struggled to put up 19 points, shooting 7-of-25 from the floor and 1-of-11 from three, having to make it up at the defensive end.
“That was great. That’s what basketball is about,” said Doncic. “You don’t have no friends on the court. I respect him for doing that. Everybody’s saying he’s only a fancy player. No, he showed he’s great on defense, too. He showed that there, so I respect it for him.”
The two players hugged after Beal was ejected, a sign of respect and true sportsmanship between two high-level competitors. Beal is hoping to get the second of his two technicals rescinded by the league after he was ejected for waving off an official.