After their strong showing in a six-point loss to the Orlando Magic on the road, the Wizards (4-19) took a step back in Canada. It was a tough night for the Washington Wizards on Friday as they lost in Toronto to the Raptors, 106-89.
In their second matchup of the season, the Raptors (8-16) got revenge after suffering a loss in Washington, D.C. not too long after the start of the New Year.
The effort was not there for Washington on Friday night as Toronto took advantage of their lackadaisical play – on offense and defense. The Wizards are now 1-10 away from the Verizon Center and have lost three in a row.
Although the Wizards have been a lot more competitive over the past few weeks, the loss is a reminder that they are a work in progress and that there will be bumps in the road.
After the game, Washington interim coach Randy Wittman did not mince words about his team’s effort.
“They outplayed us in every phase of the game. Disappointing, coming in here after we’ve been playing, I think, at a pretty good, high level. But tonight wasn’t it.”
He added, “We didn’t have that same effort that we’ve had and it showed. We fell back into some bad habits, both offensively and defensively. Ball didn’t move as it had. We’ve got to do a better job of that.”
The Wizards were on sloppy on the night and at times allowed the Raptors simply to run over them.
In the end, Washington was out-rebounded 61 to 37 by Toronto – a record for the franchise. They could not keep on the boards against the opponents, and that did them in.
“Rebounding is effort. We didn’t have that same effort tonight that we’ve had, and that showed. I mean 23 offensive rebounds and 61-37 that told a lot”, uttered Wittman.
The Wizards JaVale McGee – perhaps the most athletic player on the roster – was stymied on Friday, only scoring eight points with six rebounds. He was only 2-for-8 with shooting and struggled on the night. At this point, the Wizards may only go as McGee does – and he knows it.
“We should have come out a little bit harder, we should have played harder,” said McGee in one of the most obvious statements of the evening.
For Washington, Nick Young has 21 points; John Wall scored 15 and Trevor Booker had 13 off the bench.
Toronto’s Leandro Barbosa led his team with 19 points off the bench; meanwhile, Amir Johnson had a double-double with 18 points and 13 rebounds.
Jose Calderon had 8 points with 17 assists and Linas Kleiza had 13 points.
The Wizards kept pace with Raptors for much of the first half and trailed 55-45 before the start of the third quarter. They came within a point of the lead, 60-59 at 7:11 mark of period, after Wall’s 17-foot jumper; however, the game fell out Washington’s hand at that point.
Thereafter, the Raptors got hot. They went on 20-10 run to end the third quarter and pulled away in the fourth, jumping out to as much as 22-point lead before the final whistle.