Wizards' Bradley Beal on Josh Okogie: Only Way He Can Guard Me Is by Fouling

Tyler Conway@jtylerconwayFeatured ColumnistFebruary 28, 2021

Washington Wizards guard Bradley Beal (3) reacts after he made a three-point basket during the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Minnesota Timberwolves, Saturday, Feb. 27, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)
Nick Wass/Associated Press

Bradley Beal scored 34 points in Saturday's win over the Minnesota Timberwolves, leading the Wizards to their seventh win in eight games.

The All-Star starter also made sure to put Josh Okogie in his place after the game.

"It definitely fueled a fire up under me...He started chirping and saying that he didn’t foul me, or doesn't foul me, and that was just mind-boggling to me because I feel like the only way he can guard me is by fouling," Beal told reporters after the game.

Beal and Okogie got into a verbal sparring match in the third quarter when officials called the young Timberwolves guard for a foul on a Beal drive to the basket. Okogie took exception to the call, leading to a short back-and-forth.

Beal then went off for 17 points as part of a 44-point third quarter for the Wizards, telling NBC Sports Washington that his scoring outburst was Okogie's "fault." 

The Wizards, an early-season punching bag as Beal's frustration grew to the point trade rumors became rampant, are seemingly in the process of turning things around. They're only percentage points behind the Atlanta Hawks for the No. 11 spot in the Eastern Conference, and both teams are 1.5 games out of the final play-in spot.

Beal is averaging 32.8 points, 5.3 rebounds and 4.9 assists to spearhead the effort, while Russell Westbrook has been stellar of late after a slow start.

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Okogie, in his third NBA season, is averaging 4.8 points and 2.5 rebounds.