Prior to Sunday’s Game 4 between the Washington Wizards and the Toronto Raptors, both head coaches urged their teams to play physical, but with composure.
During the course of the game, referees called 49 personal fouls, with Bradley Beal fouling out of the game late in the fourth quarter.
After practice Monday, Wizards power forward Markieff Morris, who already received a $25,000 fine for making contact with official Ken Mauer in Friday’s Game 3, just smiled and repeated one line several times.
“They did a great job,” Morris said about the officials.
The series has seen a total of 179 personal fouls called in the first four games, an average of nearly 45 per contest. According to ESPN, Toronto Raptors All-Star point guard Kyle Lowry is averaging 4½ fouls per game so far this postseason, tied for tops in the league. Morris is averaging four fouls per game, tied for second-worst.
Wizards head coach Scott Brooks praised his team keeping its cool after Beal fouled out on a questionable blocking call.
“It shows a lot of maturity on our part and some growth,” Brooks said. “There’s been times that wouldn’t have happened.”
Brooks admitted his players are more comfortable at home in Capital One Arena. The Wizards have won eight straight home playoff games, but lost three consecutive contests on the road.
The Wizards seek to break that streak Wednesday in Game 5 in Toronto.
“What we are looking for is come back here up 3-2 [and] close it out on our home floor,” Morris said.
Wall said he is nursing a sprained right ankle suffered in Game 4 after Beal’s exit. Wall scored eight of the team’s final 14 points.
“I’m not coming out. I’ll be all right,” Wall said Monday.
He also said his music selection during this series won’t include superstar rapper and Toronto native Drake, who serves as the Raptors’ global ambassador.
The two have engaged in friendly trash-talking via social media throughout the series. Wall said Drake told him the Raptors would sweep the Wizards.
“He had the broom for us,” Wall said. “We did what we were supposed to do. We took care of homecourt and won two games. My arguments with him aren’t really about the game of basketball. We just be out there having fun, but at the same time we have a focus that we’re trying to go out there and win Game 5.”