With the Wizards up 118-120 and just four seconds to play, all Bradley Beal had to do was catch an inbounds pass and hold on for the inevitable foul from Toronto. Unfortunately, Beal made his move before gathering the ball coughing it up and fouling Kyle Lowry with just three seconds to play to make matters worse.
Lowry, a 86 percent free-throw shooter clanked the first free-throw and Beal would atone for his sin on the other end knocking down two free-throws of his own as the Wizards hang on for the 122-119 victory over the Raptors.
Washington shared the wealth as eight players scored in double figures led by Bradley Beal with 27 (25 in the second half), followed by Otto Porter with 16 and Markieff Morris who chipped in with 15.
The win gives snaps Washington’s seven-game home losing streak to Toronto. Yes, you read that correctly.
A tale of two halves for Beal
The Toronto Raptors put the clamps on Bradley Beal in the first half. They were double-teaming him every time he got the ball and were packing the paint on his drives to the hole. As a result, Beal struggled, missing all six of his field goal attempts and scoring just two points on free throws in the first half.
But that all changed in the second half. Beal came out on fire in the second half connecting on his first four field goals for 11 points just one minute and 50 seconds into the third quarter as the Wizards erased a seven-point halftime deficit. Beal was much more aggressive and let it fly from three-point range knocking down his first three attempts of the third quarter as he finished the period with 17 points.
Beal hit a tough layup over Jonas Valanciunas with under a minute to play to tie the game and knocked down four free-throws in the final seconds as the Wizards would come away with the victory.
Washington gets it done with an all-around team effort
With John Wall out for up to two months, it’s no secret that the Wizards are going to need many guys to step up if they are able to keep a respectable seeding in the Eastern Conference. And tonight, they got just that. Eight Wizards players scored in double figures tonight and four players had at least four assists to fill in for Wall’s absence.
Marcin Gortat started the game 3-3 from the field to get the Wizards offense going early on and Markieff Morris provided a much-needed spark with 15 points and seven rebounds.
Not only were the starters good tonight, but the bench was outstanding combining for 44 points behind 14 from Mike Scott and 10 from Jodie Meeks (all in the fourth quarter). Guys like Scott and Ian Mahinmi (10 points) were able to carry the scoring load for the Wizards in the first half as Beal struggled to get going early on.
Otto Porter, who also had a bit of a slow start had some timely transition layups in the fourth quarter to give Washington the lead and came up with several big rebounds down the stretch.
In all, this was an outstanding team effort tonight.
We finally got a Jodie Meeks game
It took 51 games, but we finally got a (mini) explosion from Jodie Meeks off the bench. After being held scoreless in his limited action in the first half, Meeks hit a prayer three-pointer to start the fourth quarter. The next time down, Meeks curled off a screen and knocked down another three-pointer to give Washington a seven-point lead early in the fourth quarter.
Meeks would break out in transition to add a layup and also knock down two free throws as he scored 10 quick points to give Washington an extra jolt down the stretch in the fourth quarter.
- Ian Mahinmi went a perfect 4-4 from the free-throw line
- Washington shared the rock, dishing out 30 assists on 44 made field goals
- The Wizards turned the Raptors over 18 times turning those into 23 points on the other end.
Up Next: A potential trap game looms as Washington heads to Orlando on Saturday.