Final Score: Wizards 93 Raptors 103
The Wizards showed a lot of fight in the 4th quarter in battling back from a 20 point deficit, but they fell to the Raptors for the third time this season by a score of 103-93. Randy Wittman was ejected well into the 4th quarter due to some obvious frustration. The Wizards though, used it to spark a 15-1 run to cut the lead to six points with under 2 minutes to go, but in the end it was not enough. John Wall led the team with 22 points and seven assists. Marcin Gortat, had a very efficient night as he scored 18 points, grabbed 11 boards, and dished out four assists. Nene added 17 points and five rebounds. The Wizards were outshot tonight, with a FG% of 46.9% (to the Raptors 58.8%) and 61.9% from the charity stripe (to the Raptors 80%).
The Raptors did an excellent job moving the ball around, and late in the third it looked like as though they could score at will. Kyle Lowry led the team with 24 points and 10 assists. DeMar DeRozan, Amir Johnson, and Grevis Vasquez all contributed 14 points in a very balanced attack. The Wizards will look to get back on track in Atlanta on Wednesday night. - Brad Bobrow
The Wizards are down 55-49 at the half here at Verizon Center. It's been a bit of a slow start for the Wizards, but not for All-Star John Wall, who has a game-high 19 points on 9/12 from the field. Marcin Gortat has a tough matchup down low tonight against Jonas Valanciunas, but has helped to score eight points, grab seven rebounds, and dish out four assists.
The Raptors have done an excellent job spreading the ball around with nine of their players scoring points. Jonas Valanciunas leads the team with 10 points and three rebounds. Patrick Patterson, who had an excellent performance in the Raptors second victory over the Wizards, has been kept in check, scoring eight points and grabbing four rebounds. - Brad Bobrow
We are back at it... I hope you enjoyed the All-Star festivities and were able to keep up with the All-Star Running Blog, but now the games count again and we're gearing up for the stretch run.
The Wizards come into tonight's game at 25-27, which positions them in sixth place in the Eastern Conference. They are three games ahead of the nine seed (out of the playoffs) and three games behind the three seed in the all important loss column. It's likely they'll finish somewhere in between those spots and the key word being used around these parts now has been "consistency." They've shown they can beat the best, but they also can lose to some of the lesser teams in the league, which is something they'll need to fix in the second half.
There's no better way to catch a team ahead of you in the standings then to beat them in head-to-head play, and the Wizards get that chance tonight.
The Raptors have surprised some and currently sit in third place in the Eastern Conference at 28-24. They've already beaten the Wizards twice this year, the last one coming here at Verizon Center on January 3rd. The Wizards played right with them in the first half, but a 36-16 third quarter would put the game out of reach as the Raps went on to win 101-88.
Tonight is one of those games if the Wiz come out hot, people will say they are well rested. If they are cold, they'll say they are rusty. You never really know how a five day layoff will effect a team, but let's hope the Wizards have fresh legs again and can outrun the Raptors and kick this second half off the right way.
Here's more from Wall, Beal, and Wittman on Toronto and the second half:
The action kicks off at 7pm from Verizon Center.