November 24, 2014

Washington Wizards Game 6 Review: Wizards Can’t Find Touch In Loss To Raptors

WIZARDS CAN’T BUY BUCKET, LOSE TO RAPTORS

The Washington Wizards took home their second loss of the season on Friday night, losing in Toronto to the Raptors, 103-84.

For Washinton, the story of the game was their inability to make a shot – of any kind. Finishing the game with a lousy 36-percent, they failed to generate any kind of steady offense. While the Raptors didn’t shoot spectacularly well, either, 43-precent, a big first half from Toronto simply proved to be too much for the Wizards to overcome. [Read more…]

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…]

Washington Wizards Game 30 Recap: Wizards endure setback with loss to Raptors

John Wall’s 20-point games streak came to an end, Trevor Ariza was ejected long before the third quarter ended and the Washington Wizards showed few signs of life in what amounted to a 101-88 loss to the Toronto Raptors at the Verizon Center Friday night.

The Wizards entered the contest just a half-game behind Toronto in the standings, but the Raptors’ DeMar DeRozan and Kyle Lowry did their part to widen the margin. The two combined for 39 points and 16 of the Raptors’ 29 assists.

The Wizards started off on the wrong foot right from the get-go. Just three and a half minutes into action, the team had already fallen behind 14-5 thanks to Lowry and DeRozan’s 12 early points for Toronto.

What ground the Wizards regained coming out of an early timeout was lost by the end of the quarter as they trailed 26-17.

Nene and Kevin Seraphin helped rejuvenate the squad – if only just a little – with early baskets in the second quarter. Seraphin’s dunk and Nene’s 15-footer helped pulled the Wizards within four points of catching the Raptors. Unfortunately for Washington, the team went another two and a half minutes without scoring and, in that timeframe, Toronto crept back to a 10-point lead.

Before halftime, Wall and Martell Webster breathed life back in the Wizards and the teams headed to the locker rooms with just three points between them.

But, in the third quarter, the Raptors went on to outscore the Wizards 36-16. In case there was any question of the Wizards’ frustrations, Ariza made them apparent by earning himself an ejection for arguing a technical foul call.

Despite the fact that five Wizards ended the night with double-digit points, Washington never managed to slow the Raptors. Yet, the Wizards entered the final quarter down 84-61 with little hope of recovering ground.

“Anybody can get hot and start scoring at any time on this team,” John Wall said after the game. “We’re a team where we’re better when there’s five to six guys in double figures and you might have a different leading scorer every night and we know that’s the way we need to play and there’s nothing wrong with that. We know guys can make big shots and make big plays, but we don’t have one guy that we can put our back on and say, ‘Do that for a whole game.’”

At last, Washington outscored the Raptors 27-17 in the final 12 minutes of play, but their efforts proved far too little too late.

With the 101-88 loss, the Wizards are now just 7-7 at home.

“[I was] shocked probably more than surprised,” said head coach Randy Wittman after the game. “Being a game where they are a half-game ahead of you in the standings, being a home game, ‘shocked’ would be a better word.  [It was] very disappointing and we can’t play that way. We’ve proven over the last couple of years you can’t play that way. And, we’re getting concerned with, ‘Why am I coming out? How many minutes am I getting? How many shots am I getting?’ rather than, ‘What is the team doing?’ and we didn’t do that tonight and that is disappointing because we’re not good enough to do it that way. For us to come out and start the game, and start the fourth quarter like that is disappointing.  I don’t know how else to put it. We have to come back together. It is not about ‘me’ it’s about ‘us’ and it has to be focused on us and it was focused on individuals rather than the team tonight.”

Washington Wizards Game 55 Wrap: Wizards extend winning streak to three games after downing Raptors

It may not have been pretty, but the Washington Wizards persevered through some tough shooting and poor offense to pull out their third win in a row with a 90-84 victory over the Toronto Raptors.

Bradley Beal was the Wizards’ best shooter all night, scoring 20, but it was a tough night for both teams around the bucket. Both shot under 45 percent, with the Raptors shooting under 40 percent, to make for some less than thrilling basketball. Washington put three players in double-figures compared to Toronto who just had two players go over ten points. [Read more…]

Washington Wizards Game 52 Wrap: Early turnovers and poor shooting dooms Wizards against Raptors

The Toronto Raptors knocked off the Washington Wizards 96-88 Tuesday night to earn their first win in the Verizon Center since 2009.

It was a bit of a bizarre start to the second-half of the season in the Verizon Center with the scoreboard out and no horn working in the building. The sound of an air horn and the announcement of the time left on the game clock, shot clock and the score greeted the fans throughout all four quarters. Despite the change in in-game production quality, the actual product on the court seemed unchanged.

“Listen, it’s going to be hard for us, the way our team’s made up to win games that way,” Head Coach Randy Wittman said after the game. “We tried to keep making a push, but offensively, you’re right, we just never got into a flow, rhythm all night long. And we paid for it.”

Bradley Beal started for the first time since the end of January and looked sharp early hitting two of his three three-point shots in the first quarter. While Beal and Emeka Okafor shot lights out to help the Wizards stay in the game, turnovers again cost them big early on. Washington turned the ball over eight times, leading to 12 Toronto points in the first quarter. It allowed the Raptors to build a 27-19 lead.

To add to the ambiance of the game, the first and second quarters featured Raptors players counting down the final seconds of the quarter so DeMar Derozen could sink a basket with less than a second left.

Washington cut down on the turnovers in the second quarter, but could not contain the Raptors’ offense. Even though they pulled close to the lead, newest Raptor Rudy Gay started to find a rhythm in the second after going 1-4 from the floor in the first. He finished with 14 points for the quarter and knocked down two three balls. Meanwhile Beal was held to just one field goal in the quarter, a two pointers, as the Wizards headed into the half down 55-46.

The third quarter sort of plugged along quietly with few notable performances, outside of Beal and DeRozan. Toronto’s DeRozan put up nine more points and Beal added 11 to his stat line. All of that said, John Wall continued to look rough, scoring only two points in the quarter and only shot seven-percent on the night.

“I’ll burn it and look forward to the next one, it was the first game back off of break.” Wall said after the game about his performance.

All the while, Jordan Crawford remained on the bench, a place he has been familiar with for the last few games. Perhaps the most notable moment of the quarter was when the fans began to chant for the one time leading scorer for Washington.

Despite closing the gap to start the fourth, pulling within four at one point, Washington could not muster up the offense needed to complete the comeback. A 14-7 run over a span of five minutes allowed the Raptors to restore their double-digit lead that they wouldn’t relinquish. Gay and DeRozan led the Raptors with 24 points each and Beal lead all scorers with 25.

It is the second straight loss for the Wizards and their first at home since January 28 against the Sacramento Kings. Washington has two days to get themselves righted before they face the Denver Nuggets on Friday and the Houston Rockets on Saturday.

Wizards Build Big Lead, Eek Out Win Against Raptors 111-108

After being blown out by the Raptors in Toronto three nights prior, the Washington Wizards were looking for a measure of revenge. Despite blowing a large early lead, the Wizards were able to pull out a 111-108 win.

John Wall had 31 points (10-for-19 FG), seven assists, five5 rebounds, two steals and two blocks for the Wizards, who won their fifth game of the season by beating the Raptors for the second time.

Nick Young chipped in 29 on 9-for-20 shooting and Trevor Booker had 19 points to go with three steals and three blocks on the night. The Raptors were led by Linas Kleiza and Jerryd Bayless who each had 30 in a losing effort. [Read more…]

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