December 8, 2019

Washington Wizards Game 34 Review: Poor middle quarters for Wiz cost them against Raptors

With the number of injuries that the Washington Wizards have endured this season, it is no suprise that they would be reeling. With John Wall cooling off from his Eastern Conference Player of the Month performance in December, Washington came into Friday night’s matchup against Toronto having dropped its previous two games to Miami and Cleveland.

The Raptors have played in “playoffs” mode in their earlier matchup with the Wizards according to Wall, which would explain their two-nil lead so far in the season series. With the return of Gary NealNene, and Drew GoodenRandy Wittman was able to assemble a floor lineup of all bench players for the first time in a while. Getting outscored in the middle two quarters by 20 meant the Wizards were forced to play catch up in the fourth, which did not go well. The result? The Wizards continued to be routed by Toronto in the regular season with a 97-88 loss.

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Washington Wizards Game 58 Recap: Wizards win fifth straight with triple-OT victory over Raptors

Few would have anticipated Thursday night’s matchup between the Washington Wizards and Toronto Raptors would equate to a battle of endurance. But, a whopping 3:32 after tipoff, the Wizards emerged the victor, topping the Raptors 134-129 in a triple-overtime contest that featured 19 ties and 15 lead changes.

Both John Wall and Marcin Gortat came up big with 31 points apiece, and Gortat added 12 rebounds and four blocks on the night. In a demonstration of stamina, Gortat, Bradley Beal and Trevor Ariza each played 50 or more minutes of basketball before days’ end.

And, when all was said and done, the Wizards had outscored the Raptors 80-46 in the paint, 21-6 on second-chance points and 26-16 on the fast break.

But, fans at the Air Canada Centre nearly missed out on 15 minutes of bonus basketball.

After trailing for the greater portion of the first half of regulation, the Wizards caught the Raptors and kept things close throughout the third and fourth quarters.

With five seconds left in regulation, Gortat drove inside to knock in a missed jumper by Beal to tie the game at 106. Toronto’s Kyle Lowry tried to come up with a tough floater to wrap things up, but the ball rolled off the rim to send the game into overtime.

The Raptors took a four-point lead with 2:14 remaining in overtime before Wall came up with a layup-and-1 to bring the Wizards back within a point. With 48 seconds remaining, Wall made one of two free throws before driving inside with a game-tying layup.

In the final moments before the buzzer, Wall delivered a game-saving block on Lowry to tack on five more minutes of play.

But, of course, the drama didn’t stop there.

The second overtime proved to be Gortat versus DeMar DeRozan. DeRozan opened the extra period with a turnaround jumper before Gortat responded with a dunk fed by Martell Webster. Gortat than drew a foul off Jonas Valanciunas with 43 seconds remaining and sank both of his free baskets to put Washington up 118-116.

With just two seconds remaining, however, DeRozan erased the two free baskets with a layup to tie the game.

It then appeared as though Beal would emerge the Wizards’ hero as he drove across the court for the layup, but it was ruled the buzzer had sounded just before the ball left his hands.

At last, the Wizards were able to outlast the Raptors in the third overtime. Gortat and Beal came up big with two points in the first two minutes to keep up with DeRozan’s hot shooting.

Webster hit a layup before Gortat added another three-point play to tie things up at 127 points apiece. Ariza and Webster then hit the go-ahead shots too late for the Raptors to play catch-up.

With the win, the Wizards are now, at last, two games above .500 and 15-14 on the road.

Washington Wizards Game 53 Recap: On the heels of the All-Star break, Wizards suffer loss to Raptors

If the Washington Wizards were looking to set the stage for the remainder of the season, they would probably elect to erase Tuesday night’s 103-93 loss to the Toronto Raptors from memory.

John Wall led Washington’s efforts with 22 points and seven assists, and Bradley Beal added 18 points but the 25-28 squad could not slow Toronto guard Kyle Lowry. Lowry tallied 24 points and 10 assists on the night and helped Toronto in its third-quarter run.

In the first half, however, the two teams remained neck and neck. Wall posted 11 points in the first quarter and Trevor Booker closed out the quarter with a layup and jumper to help Washington match Toronto with 27 points.

In the second quarter, DeMar DeRozan helped the Raptors pull in front, and Lowry’s three-pointer with 19 seconds remaining sealed Toronto’s 55-49 lead at the half.

In the third quarter, Lowry and DeRozan ran with no looking back. Lowry posted 14 points and DeRozan added eight as Toronto powered to an 84-70 lead in 12 minutes. [Read more…]

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