With the Washington Wizards down by 10 points to the Toronto Raptors with seven minutes left in the fourth quarter, John Wall drove to the basket, but fell and lost the ball out of bounds.
Then all hell broke loose.
Bradley Beal, who thought Wall was fouled, was given a technical foul for arguing the non-call. Then head coach Scott Brooks received a tech after approaching referee James Williams near midcourt and is ultimately ejected from the game.
“That was chaos,” said Beal, who scored a game-high 32 points and became the team’s all-time leader in made 3-pointers. “We … gave ourselves a chance at the end of the game. We do a good job of staying mentally locked in, but we have to turn those spurts into more consistent runs.”
After the Wizards’ 117-113 loss at Capital One Arena in northwest D.C., Brooks admitted he allowed his emotions to get out hand.
“It’s something I’ve been talking about with our guys,” he said. “We have to play through whatever it is against us. Quite honestly, I set a poor example. I’m disappointed in myself. I have to be better than that and not worry about a few calls and just focused. Hopefully it won’t happen again.”
Williams briefly explained to a pool reporter after the game why Brooks was tossed.
“Scott Brooks got one technical foul and was [then] ejected from the game,” Williams said. “He was ejected for approaching the officials in an aggressive manner while using foul language [and] vulgarity.”
Williams also explained why the shot clock reset with 38.5 seconds left in the game and Toronto up 113-111 when Wizards forward Otto Porter Jr. blocked Raptors guard Kyle Lowry’s shot.
Th officials initially called goaltending on the court, but changed the call to a clean block upon review.
“Because it’s a blocked shot, it’s a legal play and when the whistle blows, nobody has the ball,” Williams said. “So when that happens, we jump the ball [at half court] … and the shot clock is reset to a full 24 [seconds] because it’s not a held ball.”
The play was huge for Washington because Toronto won the possession and Raptors guard Fred VanVleet drained an off-balance 20-foot jumper to seal the Wizards’ second straight loss at home to begin the season.
Toronto (3-0) won despite playing without newly acquired star forward Kawhi Leonard, who sat for rest on the second night of a back-to-back after missing nearly all of last season with a quad injury.
Raptors point guard Kyle Lowry led his team with 28 points and 12 assists. Toronto also outrebounded Washington 52-37.
The Wizards, which played with center Dwight Howard for a second straight game, were outrebounded by the same margin of 15 in their season opener at home Thursday against the Miami Heat.
Wizards guard Austin Rivers was pragmatic about the 0-2 start, pointing out that the two losses were by a combined five points to teams that made the playoffs last season.
“It’s just two games,” said Rivers, who scored 12 points on 5-of-10 shooting. “This might come back and help us in the long run. What you don’t want to do is make it a situation where we need to win and get a seed. We need to turn this into a positive.”
Washington begins a five-game West Coast trip Monday against the Portland Trail Blazers.