April 21, 2021

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.

The win comes against another depleted opponent in the Raptors, whose leading scorer Andrea Bargnani missed his seventh straight game with an injured calf.

Chris Singleton was in the starting lineup in place of injured Rashard Lewis, and drew the defensive match up with the Raptors leading back court scorer DeMar DeRozan. He was able to prove his mettle early, getting a block on the baseline and forcing the Toronto guard into some difficult shots.

The Wizards offense ran through Nick Young early, and he scored four quick points to help the Wizards jump out to an 8-2 lead. John Wall’s defense on Raptors PG Jose Calderon was key in allowing the offensively challenged Wiz to build up an early lead.

The Wizards finished the first quarter strong with Wall scoring seven and Nick Young six down the stretch, giving them a 29-19 advantage into the break.

Linas Kleiza provided a jolt of scoring for the Raptors in the second. He scored eight of the team’s 10 points during a six minute stretch spanning the quarter break, and almost single handedly prevented the Wizards from pulling away early.

The Wizards made it 48-32 on a JaVale McGee shot half way through the second quarter, and looked poised to make it a blowout. But a 7-0 Raptors run closed the gap and stemmed the Wizards run.

Nick Young had another opportunity to send the crowd into a frenzy when he was fouled on a swished three pointer from the corner. Just as he’d done on a four-point play opportunity earlier this season he was unable to convert the free throw.

A Young slam off a long pass from Wall in transition put the Wizards lead back at 16 nearing the half. A Trevor Booker foul as the clock wound down gave Kleiza three chances to cut into the lead. He would only make one of three, sending the teams to the locker room 57-42

The second half started in a similar fashion.

Chris Singleton’s three pointer gave the Wizards their largest lead of the game at 62-44. They were able to keep that lead until 3:00 left in the third quarter when Trevor Booker hit a hook shot to put them up 79-61.

But the Raptors got hot after Kevin Seraphin was called for an illegal defense foul on Toronto’s next possession. Kleiza’s made free throw started an 8-1 run for the visitors, and a three pointer by James Johnson at the third quarter buzzer cut Wizards lead to 82-72.

Jarryd Bayless hit a three pointer from the corner three minutes into the final frame to cut the Wizards lead to 86-79. Bayless’ fifth three pointer of the night five minutes later trimmed the lead to 96-93 and prompted Wizards coach Randy Wittman to call a timeout.

Two John Wall free throws made it a five point game, but Bayless connected again from downtown to pull the Raptors to 98-96.

In addition to Toronto’s hot shooting, the Wizards had to battle with Lady Luck.

After a missed Nick Young jumper, the Wizards played active defense and denied the Raptors a good look at the basket. Bayless airballed a long-range jumper that caromed off Wall and out of bounds under the basket. With one second left on the shot clock, Kleiza was forced to throw up a shot off the inbound, but the desperation look banked in and knotted the score.

Kleiza hit another three on their next possession to give the Raptors a 101-100 lead—their first since they were up 2-0 in the game’s opening minute.

Wall responded with a scoop layup at the other end to regain the lead, and after two Kleiza free throws Wall stormed down the court again and was fouled while converting the layup with 25 seconds to go.

But Wall missed the free throw, and despite getting the offensive rebound Jordan Crawford was only able to convert on one of two, giving the Raptors the ball back with just over 17 seconds left.

Bayless drove to the hole but was unable to convert the shot. The rebound went high off the glass and right into the hands of Amir Johnson who slammed it home and tied the score at 105.

Nick Young’s attempt with time winding down was blocked, sending the Wizards into their first overtime contest of the year.

Wall came out guarding Kleiza, whose 29 points on 11-for-15 shooting were a clear issue for the Wizards in regulation. Despite giving up about four inche, Wall played active defense and made finding space difficult.

Both teams struggled to score, and the lone field goal of the period was a jumper from Jordan Crawford 30 seconds into OT. The Raptors made 3-for-4 from the line, while the Wizards shot 4-for-6 and played solid defense down the stretch.

Up 110-108, Booker missed his second free throw with :06 remaining but Young was able to corral the offensive rebound and hit one of his two free throws to provide the winning margin.

Jose Calderon’s 25-foot jumper missed as time expired and the Raptors fell to 2-11 this season without the 2006 number one pick.

The Wizards get the New York Knicks at home Wednesday looking for their first back-to-back wins of the season and their second road victory.


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