Wizards at Raptors Game 1: Toronto’s depth is too much for Washington to handle in 114-106 victory

John Wall scored 23 points to go along with 15 assists but it wouldn’t be enough as the Wizards drop Game 1 of the postseason to the Toronto Raptors, 114-106. Markieff Morris scored 22 to go along with 11 rebounds and six assists and Mike Scott added 14 off the bench but the Toronto Raptors win Game 1 of a series for the first time in 10 tries.

Toronto ran out to an early 22-13 run but the Wizards were able to withstand the first punch of the game from the Raptors. Washington found their groove in the second quarter behind the ultra-aggressive play from John Wall who scored 13 points and dished out 10 assists before halftime. With both Marcin Gortat and Ian Mahinmi in foul trouble, Mike Scott saw some extended time and took advantage. Washington used an 11-0 run late in the second quarter to take the lead into halftime, 59-55.

The game seesawed back-and-forth for the third quarter and the Raptors held the slimmest of leads, 86-85 entering the fourth quarter. The tide turned for Washington two minutes into the fourth quarter when Mike Scott committed a flagrant foul on Kyle Lowry. Lowry knocked down both free-throws and Toronto also scored on the possesion regaining the lead, 92-91. The Raptors then used an 11-0 run since that flagrant foul to pull away in this one.

Washington played Toronto tough for 3.5 quarters but it’s clear, that won’t be enough to beat this team.

A difference in bench units

Toronto’s bench was one of their biggest strengths coming into the series. The question for Washington was, would their bench be able to keep pace with them? Outside of Mike Scott who scored 14 points, that would be a resounding no as the rest of the Washington reserves combined for just seven.

Delon Wright, playing more minutes than usual due to Fred Vanvleet’s injury scored 17 points for a bench unit that combined for 42 points tonight. In the first half, it was OG Anunoby stepping up for the Raptors as he knocked down two three-pointers early on. Washington lost CJ Miles in transition one too many times and he made them pay, knocking down 4-7 three-point attempts for 12 points off the Raptors’ bench.

Toronto went 11-deep tonight so Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan were able to stay fresh as they logged 37 and 35 minutes respectively. On the flip side, the Wall and Beal logged 39 and 41 minutes respectively and didn’t look as spry down the stretch. Having the confidence to play up to 11 players in the playoffs is a wonderful advantage that most teams don’t have. Toronto was able to play guys like Delon Wright, Pascal Siakam and Lucas Nogueira (played all nine of his minutes in the fourth quarter) down the stretch in the fourth quarter and help build out the Toronto lead against the Washington starters.

It’s pretty clear that the Wizards will need better games from Kelly Oubre and Tomas Satoransky if this series is going to be competitive.

An ultra intense Wall nearly carries the Wizards to victory

Many wondered if Wall would be able to play heavy minutes while also be effective after only playing four games in his final tune-up prior to the postseason. It’s very clear, Wall is A-OK.

Wall was super aggressive tonight looking to push the ball in transition and didn’t really settle for any long twos tonight. Toronto dared Wall to take three-pointers early on and he won that battle knocking down 2-3 from range in the first quarter.

With the pace of the game slowing down and favoring the Raptors, Wall looked to push the ball and get out in transition. Those resulted in some baskets from close in and wide open shots in transition for the Wizards. It also opened up the floor for the Wall and Gortat pick-and-roll to flourish as he was able to spoon feed the big man for shots around the rim.

Wall wasn’t super effective tonight as he shot just 6-21 from the field but he wasn’t settling. He was super aggressive in attacking the hole but unfortunately for the point guard, he couldn’t convert from close in nor was he getting calls.

Tip Ins:

  • Otto Porter clearly didn’t look 100 percent and was the only Wizards starter who didn’t score in double figures
  • The Wizards went small for a majority of the game and it looks like they’ll have to continue to do that if they want to stay competitive in the series

It didn’t end in victory, but John Wall was the main reason the Wizards were able to stay competitive in this one.

Up Next: Game 2 of the series is Tuesday night in Toronto.

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Wizards vs. Raptors final score: Toronto drops the Washington, 106-89

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.

DeMar DeRozan and Kyle Lowry got hot in the third quarter but the Wizards had no answer on defense. The two combined for 46 points tonight going 6-12 from three-point range.

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.

Recap: Wizards at Raptors Game 2

In what was probably the best team win of the season, the Wizards pull away from the Raptors and cruise to a 117-106 victory to take a 2-0 lead in the series. The dynamic backcourt of Bradley Beal and John Wall combined for 54 points on 20-37 shooting. Way better than their combined 11-41 performance in game 1.

As predicted, the Raptors came out desperate to start this one. At the blink of an eye, the Raptors were up 7-0 and started the game on a 12-2 run just four minutes into the game. Just like in game one, the Wizards were able to withhold the storm with the deficit never getting bigger than 10 points. Things started to settle down as John Wall hit Marcin Gortat for two layups off the pick-and-roll. After starting 1-7 from the field, the Wizards made five of their next seven shots and found themselves down just five as the Raptors shot 55% in the first and led 31-26.

An aggressive Bradley Beal hit a wide open three to start the second quarter. Beal ended the night with a playoff career high 28 points.

Fouls were a big problem for the Raptors and it all started with Kyle Lowry. Lowry picked up his second and third fouls just seconds apart and was forced to the bench early in the quarter.

Just like in game one, Pierce knocked down a corner three from almost the exact same spot midway through the second quarter. You wondered if this would get Pierce rolling again…

Bradley Beal picked up where he left off in the first nailing a three pointer from the top of the key giving the Wiz their first lead of the game. This would spark a 13-0 run which would include many easy layups, points in transition, and this nice little John Wall spinning dish to Gortat

The Wizards ended the quarter on a 17-4 run to take a 60-49 lead at halftime.

The Raptors came out of the locker room desperate once again knocking down two threes to start the half. The Wizards just always had an answer. Timely buckets from Beal, Pierce, Porter, and Wall were key for the Wiz as the lead would balloon to 15 early on. Hell, Drew Gooden even got in on the action knocking down a three pointer.

The game took a turn when Lou Williams drove to the hole in transition and John Wall swatted his shot out of there. The Wizards found Wall in transition and he drove to the lane, got fouled, and made the bucket. The lead was stretched to 17 and you could hear the boo birds coming from the Raptors faithful.

The Wizards shot an unheard of 77% in the third quarter and were up 22 going into the fourth.

After trading buckets to start the fourth quarter, the Wizards got a little loose with the ball committing five turnovers and allowing the Raptors to go on a 10-0 run to stay within striking distance. Once again, Bradley Beal was able to stop the bleeding.

After a Greivis Vazquez three at the 3:20 mark, the Wizards were just up by 10 and once again, were playing not to lose; not playing to win the game. Some missed shots and a late game injury to Kyle Lowry and the Wizards were able to hang on. John Wall hit a three pointer over former Kentucky teammate Patrick Patterson for the dagger to put the Wiz up 14 late.

Final score 117-106. The Wizards have an opportunity to put a strangle-hold on the series with a game 3 win Friday night.

It was a perfect night for DC sports fans…. Well almost…

Recap: Wizards at Raptors Game 1

Earlier in the week Paul Pierce was talking, and today, he walked the walk. Pierce led the Wizards with 20 points on 7-10 shooting and went 4-7 from three point range as the Wizards beat the Raptors 93-86 in overtime and take a 1-0 series lead.

Both teams were very jittery to start this game as the Wizards shot 1-10 from the field but were down just 7-3 six minutes into the game. Nene asserted himself shortly there after with dunks on back-to-back possessions as well as a put back layup for a personal 6-0 run. Things started to pick up for the Raptors when Patrick Patterson came in and knocked down two three pointers as well as a floater in the lane.

Even with the poor shooting, the Wizards were down just four points, 23-19 at the end of the first quarter.

The Wizards bench stepped in in the second quarter and provided a huge boost. Shots were falling for Seraphin, Gooden, and Sessions in the quarter who were able to keep the Wizards within striking distance.

After missing his first two shots, Paul Pierce hit a three from the right corner at the 6:15 mark and that got him rolling. The veteran Pierce was able to get into the lane to get some close in jump shots. Pierce went 3-4 in the quarter and hit a fade away jump shot at the 4:03 mark as the Wizards would take their first lead, 40-38.

The Wizards pounded the Raptors on the glass in the first half collecting nine offensive rebounds and ended the half on a 10-2 run to lead 46-42.

Early in the third, Pierce ran into Jonas Valanciunas and was laying on the ground. It looked like he got hit in the neck/shoulder area. After laying on the ground for a few minutes, Pierce hit his first jump shot once play resumed.

On the next possession, John Wall would find Nene on the pick and roll for an easy layup as the Wizards took a 50-42 lead forcing the Raptors to call time out.

The Wizards were able to maintain a nine point lead for the duration of the third quarter and led 65-56 after three.

The Wizards caught fire to start the fourth as buckets from Beal, Seraphin, and Gooden stretched the lead out to 15. The Raptors were ice cold on the other hand missing 11-14 shots to start the fourth quarter.

As we know with this team, no lead is safe. The Raptors clawed back into this one with timely scoring from Greivis Vazquez and Lou Williams. With the Wizards lead slowing dwindling, Lou Williams knocked down a three pointer at the 2:54 mark to cut the lead to four.

The Wizards responded by finding Beal on a curl play who scored and got fouled by Kyle Lowry; committing his sixth foul and disqualifying him for the rest of the game.

The Raptors were not dead. Down just three, Greivis Vazquez hit a three in transition to tie the game at 82. The Wizards responded with a terrible isolation play resulting in a tough missed shot from John Wall. The Raptors had one more opportunity to take the lead but missed a desperation tip as time expired. We’d be going to overtime.

Paul Pierce set the tone in overtime knocking down a three to start the period.

John Wall would find Nene on a pick and roll for an easy dunk as well as Otto Porter for a floater in the lane as the Wizards stretched the lead to 89-82. The Raptors scored their first points of the overtime period with 30 seconds remaining but it was too little too late.

The Wizards blow a 15 point fourth quarter lead but hang on to win 93-86. You know what they say? The series doesn’t start til the road team wins. Well… the road team is up 1-0.

Recap: Raptors at Wizards

AP Photo/Alex Brandon
AP Photo/Alex Brandon

The Raptors outlast the Wizards 120-116 in a thrilling overtime victory. The Wizards came back from 19 points down in the 4th quarter but were unable to stop Kyle Lowry and Lou Williams when it mattered most. The duo combined for 42 points but most importantly; hit clutch shots in the 4th quarter and overtime.

John Wall was questionable for today’s game after missing some practice time this week as well as shoot around this morning. If you watched, there’s no way you would have known he was playing through two mildly sprained ankles, a sore Achilles, and suffering from migraines. For the second time in three games, he just nearly missed a triple-double posting a final stat line of 28 points, 12 assists, and 8 rebounds.

You would have never known that the Raptors played an overtime game the night prior either. They came out blazing hot. They shot 68% in the first quarter including a mind-whopping 7-8 from 3. The Wizards also shot 68% but took only four three pointers in the quarter, connecting on three.

The Raptors started the second quarter with more hot shooting. Only this time the reserves got in on the action. Patrick Patterson and Lou Williams came in for the Raptors and connected on three pointers. At the 9:50 mark of the quarter, they were shooting 9-11 from long distance and the rout was officially on. They Raptors were able to stretch the lead out to 19. Whenever the Wizards made a run, the Raptors had an answer. The Raptors were up 65-50 at halftime. 65 points was the most scored against the Wizards in a half this season.

The Wizards showed a little more life to start the second half. Back to back shots from Nene cut the lead down to 15 early on. It also looked like the team was much more engaged on defense to start the second half.

As good teams do, the Raptors never faltered and always had an answer. Their three point shooting cooled off significantly has they did not hit a three pointer in the third quarter but still had a cushy 94-78 lead entering the fourth.

The fourth quarter was one of the Wizards best this season. The Wiz were able to cut the lead down to 10 at the 8:52 mark when Otto Porter stole the ball from Lou Williams who then fouled Otto on a clear path foul. The refs weren’t too consistent in their calls throughout this game, which agitated the Wizards. On many occasions, the Wiz (Nene, John Wall) went to the hole looking for calls, not looking to score and would stare down the officials after a non-call.

The Wizards were able to muster up a 17-2 run to get back in this one. It all started on the defensive end. Stops turned into John Wall outlets which led to some easy transition buckets. Late in the 4th John raced down court and converted on one of his crazy acrobatic layups and got fouled. He missed the free throw but the lead was now cut to 3.

With under 40 seconds to play and the Wizards down 3, Randy Wittman drew up a play for Paul Pierce. The Truth nailed a three with 25 seconds left and the game was tied at 109. We’d be going to overtime.

The Wiz took a 111-110 lead at the 4:05 mark in overtime, their first lead since the first quarter on a pair of free throws from Paul Pierce. John’s future backcourt mate in the All Star game, Kyle Lowry then went on a 6-0 run of his own to put the Raptors back in front. The Wizards were never able to regain the lead and would fall 120-116.

This is the third time in as many games that the Wizards found themselves down 18+ points in the second quarter. They were able to dig themselves out of that hole and win against the Lakers but when you play good teams, that won’t happen as easily. The Wizards now drop to third place in the Eastern Conference and have some pivotal Southeastern match ups coming up next week.