The Wizards wasted a 14 assist game from John Wall and fell to the Raptors, 106-89. With the win, the Raptors completed a regular season sweep of the Wizards and are now riding a nine-game win streak.
John Wall led the way for the Wizards in a somewhat quiet 18 point, 14-assist night. Otto Porter had a solid night with 15 points and eight rebounds. Outside of those two, there wasn’t much to celebrate from this Wizards team.
This was a game of runs early as the Raptors stretched the lead out to 14 early in the second quarter. The Wizards bounced back and cut the lead to seven highlighted by Wall running the one man fast break going end to end to get easy layups at the rim.
Back-to-back threes from Temple and Porter cut the Raptors lead down to three as the Wizards trailed, 53-50 at halftime.
In maybe the oddest substitution so far this season, Wittman brought in Drew Gooden for Nene midway through the third quarter opting to keep Dudley on the bench. However, the Wizards were able to stay within striking distance as they were down just seven, 77-70 entering the fourth quarter.
That’s when things fell apart. The Wizards went cold from the field, tired legs from a back-to-back, and the wheels started getting wobbly on the wagon.
DeMar DeRozan sliced into the lane and got fouled to stretch the Raptors lead out to 16. The Wizards had no more runs left and waived the white flag at the three-minute mark. Raptors win 106-89.
Fourth quarter collapse: In a game that felt like the Wizards should be down 20, they found themselves within striking distance down by just 7, 77-70 entering the fourth quarter. Shots stopped falling for the Wizards as they didn’t knock down their first field goal of the quarter until Dudley hit a corner three at the 6:45 mark. Tired legs from a back-to-back, frustration from a struggling team, head scratching lineups, you name it. The Wizards hit just five field goals in the quarter (two coming in garbage time) as the Raptors blew the doors off early in the fourth quarter.
Playing Gortat and Nene at the same time has to stop: For the third straight game, Randy Wittman opted to start Nene at the power forward position and bring Dudley off the bench. Nene and Gortat were on the floor at the same time for 12 minutes (6 minutes in first quarter, 6 minutes in third quarter) and all it really did was clog things up and slow down the pace of the game. There is no spacing when both players are on the floor at the same time and the ball sticks whenever the ball is dumped into Nene in the post. When Dudley came in (and even Gooden), the spacing improved immediately. It’s clear; the Nene-Gortat experiment has run its course and isn’t going to help this team win.
Otto Porter Doesn’t Skip a Beat: In Porter’s second game back since returning from injury, Porter notched 15 points, eight rebounds, and four steals. Porter went 5-6 from the field (7-11 overall) in the first half with his only miss coming on a herky-jerky layup which is usually his patented finish around the rim. Porter was no slouch on defense as he spent a majority of the night guarding a combination of DeMar DeRozan, James Jones, Patrick Patterson, and Terrance Ross. Games like tonight remind Wizards fans how much of a key piece Porter is to this team even when things aren’t going well.