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.
The Raptors would go on to lead by as many as 20 points halfway through the fourth quarter, but Washington finally quieted their offense. In fact, the Raptors went without a field goal for the final 7:36 of the game, during which the Wizards trimmed their deficit to nine points.
Further indication of the Wizards’ late charge came with just 4:39 remaining when Randy Wittman earned an ejection after arguing an offensive foul called against Wall. Following the ejection, the Wizards scored the next 11 points.
By that point, however, too much damage had been done. In addition to Lowry, five other Raptors reached double-digit points, including DeRozan, Greivis Vasquez and Amir Johnson, who all tallied 14 points on the night. As a squad, the Raptors shot 56.8 percent from the field and 43.8 percent behind the arc.
With the loss, the Wizards are 0-3 against Toronto. Even more, Washington has dropped three straight games and lost five of their last six.
“We definitely know that we won’t get these games back, for sure, but I don’t think we are losing confidence or anything like that or thinking that the season is slipping away because we still have 29 games,” said Wizards guard Bradley Beal after the game. “That’s a lot of games. This season is still up for grabs. We’ve got two teams behind us that are creeping up as well, so it is definitely going to be a tough stretch for us. But we can’t let games like this get out of hand, and get down by such huge margins where we put ourselves in a position where we can’t do anything about it.”
When asked how the team should make adjustments for the next game, Beal responded, “Have amnesia, this game is over. That’s always my motto.”