DeMar DeRozan hits two clutch baskets late behind a team-high 23 points as the Raptors beat the Wizards Friday night 102-95. C.J. Miles added 20 points off the bench on 7-10 shooting including going 6-9 from three-point range as the Raptors even the season series with the Wizards at two games apiece.
Otto Porter led the Wizards with 24 points (9-12 shooting) and Bradley Beal added 23 points for the Washington starters who had to carry the load as they got next to no production from the reserves this evening.
The Wizards came out of the gate on fire connecting on 6-9 shots and building an early 18-4 lead in the first quarter. Things shifted in the second quarter as both teams went to their respective bench units. Toronto, who can go up to 12 deep, roared back in this game as their reserves nearly outscored the entire Wizards team in the second quarter (18 vs. 20) as the Raptors took a 51-47 lead into halftime.
Washington was able to regain the lead in the fourth quarter and led by as many as four, 84-80 late in the game. But clutch three-pointers from C.J. Miles and tough jumpers from DeMar DeRozan would be too much for Washington to overcome, as they’d drop this one, 102-95.
Turnovers are becoming a problem
The Wizards who’ve committed at least 16 turnovers per game over their last three did nothing to bring that number down as they coughed the rock up 18 times tonight. Too many careless passes, lazy crosscourt passes, and getting stuck in the air trying to make a play doomed the Wizards tonight.
Toronto was able to capitalize on the Wizards mistakes turning those 18 turnovers into 27 Raptor points. Tomas Satoransky, who’s usually been very careful with the ball, had an uncharacteristic six turnovers this evening with five of them coming in the first half. Teams have tape on Sato and he no longer takes the opponent by surprise and you could see that from the Raptors all night.
The Raptors picked up Sato right as he crossed the half court line and since he doesn’t have the speed of John Wall, is forced to turn his back on the play in order to shield the ball. As a result, Sato was forced into making some careless cross-court passes which led to transition opportunities on the other end for the Raptors.
The difference in bench units
The Raptors, who have a rotation that goes up to 12-deep, showed off their litany of weapons starting in the second quarter. The Raptors bench nearly outscored the entire Wizards squad (18 to 20) as the Raptors erased the Wizards lead on the heels of the play from their bench.
C.J. Miles was the wildcard tonight for the Raptors as he connected on 6-9 three-point attempts scoring 20 points in just 20 minutes of play. Miles knocked down three three-pointers down the stretch in the fourth quarter including one as he was fading out of bounds to end the Wizards hope of victory.
On the flip side, Washington got just 15 points from their reserves tonight led by Ian Mahinmi with 6. Kelly Oubre struggled from the field scoring just five points on 2-8 shooting and the All-Star Break was the worst thing to happen for Mike Scott as he hasn’t found his rhythm since and scored just two points on 1-4 shooting tonight.
Because the bench provided little production, Scott Brooks was forced to play Bradley Beal and Otto Porter nearly 40 minutes tonight whereas just two players (Lowry and DeRozan) even eclipsed the 30-minute mark for the Raptors.
With Mike Scott coming back to earth, if the Wizards don’t get production from Oubre, more often than not, it leads to a rough night in bench production for Washington.
- Markieff Morris continues to play well as he scored 15 points to go along with five rebounds
- Otto Porter was outstanding tonight scoring 24 points (12 in the third quarter) on 9-12 shooting
Up Next: Washington concludes hell week as the Indiana Pacers come to town on Sunday evening trailing the Wizards by just .5 games