The Washington Wizards’ four-game winning streak ended Saturday after a 110-103 defeat at home against the Milwaukee Bucks, but not without some fireworks in the fourth quarter.
With 7:24 left in the game, Bucks reserve guard Matthew Dellavedova wrapped his right arm around Wizards shooting guard Bradley Beal’s right shoulder as he drove to the basket, causing Beal to slip and fall hard to the floor.
Referees stepped in to separate the two and coaches from both teams rushed to escort players to their respective benches.
Dellavedova was ejected with the Bucks up 92-90. From that point, the Bucks outscored the Wizards 18-13 the rest of the way.
The Wizards didn’t mince words afterward about Dellavedova’s play.
“There’s no place in the game for that,” said Beal, who scored 20 on 7-for-19 shooting. “It’s a difference between making a play on the ball and wrapping your arms around somebody’s neck. He got thrown out for it.”
Wizards point guard John Wall also didn’t hold back on his thoughts about Dellavedova, whose scrappy style has drew the ire of other players in the past.
“Whatever [the Bucks team] can say and other people can vouch for him, [but] to me, I always thought he was a dirty player,” Wall said. “I give him credit, he plays hard. A guy going full speed, [you] don’t grab him by his shoulders. You grab him by his waist. The refs did what they had to do and we continued to play basketball.”
For his part, Dellavedova said he didn’t expect to be ejected.
“I thought it was a foul, or maybe a flagrant one, but I definitely wasn’t expecting that,” he said. “But that’s what [the referees] called. It is what it is.”
As for the rest of the game, the Wizards couldn’t contain the league’s second-leading scorer, Giannis Antetokounmpo, who torched Washington with 34 points, 12 rebounds and seven assists.
Teammate Eric Bledsoe contributed 21 points, including a clutch 3-pointer to put Milwaukee up 105-101 with 1:17 left.
The Wizards (23-17) only scored 18 points in the final frame, a problem that carried over from Friday when Washington had just 15 fourth-quarter points in a narrow road win over the Memphis Grizzlies.
Both teams were playing the second of back-to-back contests Saturday, with Milwaukee (21-17) coming off a home loss to the Toronto Raptors.
“I thought they made some big plays down the stretch,” Wizards head coach Scott Brooks said. “It was a great game. It was a playoff game in January. Both teams left everything on the floor. Unfortunately, we didn’t win the game.”
The Wizards will have three days off before hosting the Utah Jazz (16-23) on Wednesday. Washington experienced its worst loss of the season Dec. 4 in Utah, 116-69, which was also the second-worst in franchise history.