September 21, 2019

Washington Wizards Game 43 Recap: Wiz comeback in first half just to drop the ball in second against Raptors

More than halfway through the season the Washington Wizards are an anomaly in the league with their rather unwatchable performances at home. After getting swept in the regular season matchup with the Boston Celtics, they had to jump on a red eye to Toronto, clear customs, and get ready to play the second leg of a back-to-back. All of this without Bradley Beal who suffered a broken nose and will begin the concussion protocol after an incidental forearm to the face from Marcus Smart.

With Nene starting for the third straight game alongside Marcin Gortat, it was clear that the Wizards spacing was far from ideal. This contributed to John Wall committing a game-high five turnovers and Washington having poor offensive performances in the first and third quarters. After coming back from 14 points down in the first half, the Wizards were non-existent offensively (literally) in the fourth quarter resulting in their second straight blowout loss. Injuries have a lot to do with their struggles this season, but there may be serious management and coaching changes even before the season ends if things do not pick up soon. Washington got blown out for the second straight night; this time 106-89 to the streaking Raptors.

Although John Wall got off to another cold shooting start, he got his teammates involved with three early assists that allowed them to start 5 of 7 from the field. Unfortunately the Raptors grabbed four offensive rebounds in the game’s first six minutes and Wall’s ball watching mentality allowed Kyle Lowry to make his first two shots from beyond the arc. In a turnover fest where both clubs combined for 11 turnovers. Back-to-back floaters from Kory Joseph was the difference as Washington trailed 24-18 after one quarter.

Toronto continued their hot shooting from beyond the arc by making their fifth less than three minutes into the second quarter. With Washington down 10, Randy Wittman was forced to call timeout in hope of stopping the Raptors 16-6 extended run but it was simply extended to a 14 point deficit. Wall fought through significant contact and no-calls from the officials to jumpstart a 7-0 Washington run midway through the quarter. After the the Wizards saw themselves back down double-digits because of sloppy transition defense, two straight 3-pointers allowed the DC franchise to rattle off a 12-1 run. Considering this might have been a rout before halftime, Washington was probably happy to be down just 53-50 at the break.

(Photo by: @Raptors)

(Photo by: @Raptors)

Washington pulled even with Toronto early in the third quarter before allowing the home team to go on an 11-4 run. Otto Porter did not light it up offensively with 13 points on 10 field goal attempts through three quarters, but his hustle was unquestionably admirable. The Georgetown star finished the game with four steals including an assist to Wall while diving out of bounds. With Terrence Ross continuing to fill up the hole from deep, Washington went into the final quarter trailing 77-70.

It is funny what happens when the ball movement is garbage. With Wall off the court to start, it took Washington over five minutes to score their first field goal of the fourth quarter. In the meantime Toronto went off by scoring on eight of ten possessions to take a whopping 17 point lead. Washington was no match for the Raptors who set a franchise record 9-game winning streak as the DC team lost their second straight game 106-89.

The Wizards (20-23) will return to the Phone Booth on Thursday for their first meeting with the Denver Nuggets (17-28) at 7 pm. Denver will have the tough task of playing the second leg of a road back-to-back after they play the Celtics in Boston tomorrow.

About Neil Dalal

Neil Dalal is a Staff Writer for District Sports Page covering the Redskins, Wizards, and Maryland Terrapins. Neil grew up in Silver Spring, MD and attends the University of Maryland. Neil has loved everything related to the Redskins, Wizards, Capitals, and Terrapins since he was eight years old. However, he favors the Orioles, as he started watching baseball before the Expos moved to DC. You can follow Neil on Twitter @NeilDalal96.

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