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. Celtics final score: Washington ends losing streak with 113-101 win over Boston

John Wall went 4-of-5 from deep and scored a game-high 29 points as the Wizards snapped their four-game losing streak with an emphatic 113-101 victory over the Celtics on Tuesday night. Bradley Beal added 19 points and Markieff Morris scored 13 in the Wizards’ last home game of the regular season.

Jaylen Brown came out scorching hot for the Celtics to start the game. The second-year player made six of his first nine shots, including a 5-for-7 start on 3-point attempts. He racked up 21 points in the first quarter alone as he tried to become the first ever #WizardsKiller to have his jersey retired after one quarter.

Washington locked in defensively in the second quarter which changed the dynamic of the game. After giving up six threes in the first quarter, the Wizards held Boston to just seven the rest of the game. Outside of a minor stretch in the third quarter in which Boston got several second chance-opportunities, the Wizards controlled the glass out-rebounding the Celtics 51-44.

The Wizards slowly took control in this game in the second half but really blew things open in the fourth quarter. Washington went on a 13-5 run to start the period that put the game out of reach and allowed the Wizards to win comfortably.

Washington’s victory ensures they stay within striking distance of the Bucks and Heat in the East standings. They’re still currently in eighth place but can move up as high as sixth depending on how things play out on the final night of the season on Wednesday.

Takeaways

John Wall is still too quick

Other parts of John Wall’s game clearly aren’t fully back but speed isn’t one of them.

With just 3.6 seconds remaining in the first quarter, John Wall scooped up an inbounds pass right in front of the Wizards bench and sprinted from end to end drawing a foul with 0.4 seconds left on the clock.

No one thought Wall would be 100 percent, but the fact that he’s already got his best asset ramped up, his speed, is a very good sign for the Wizards; enough so that he was chasing down blocks and jumping into the crowd for loose balls.

Wall had his bounce tonight and looked to push the ball all evening. His midrange jumper wasn’t falling but that didn’t prevent him from attacking the hole. He was able to earn seven free throws in the first half and finished with nine for the game. His run outs also resulted in some wide-open jumpers in transition and a few showtime opportunities.

He had a few too many turnovers tonight (7), but Washington would surely welcome this John Wall in the playoffs.

Game Notes

Next up: The Wizards finish the regular season in Orlando on Wednesday night as they take on the Magic at 8 p.m.

Wizards vs. Spurs final score: Washington snaps losing streak with 116-106 win over San Antonio

Seven Wizards players score in double figures, led Markieff Morris with 15 on a perfect 7-of-7 shooting as the Wizards snapped a three-game losing skid and beat the Spurs 116-106 on Wednesday night.

The Washington reserves were outstanding tonight combining for 61 points led by Jodie Meeks with 13 points while Kelly Oubre and Mike Scott chipped in with 12 and 11 points respectively.

Unlike in games past, the Wizards had a pretty good start to this one but still trailed 24-21 after one quarter. They flipped the switch in the second quarter going on a 19-3 run to take a double-digit lead.

LaMarcus Aldridge kept the Spurs in the game with 13 points in the first half, but banged knees with a Wizard late in the second quarter and did not return. Once he was out of the game, the Wizards were able to pull away. They took a 25 point lead early in the fourth quarter and were able to rest Morris, Bradley Beal, and Otto Porter the entire quarter as they cruised to an easy win.

Takeaways

An outstanding second quarter propels the Wizards

Washington trailed 31-23 early in the second quarter and it looked like they were in for yet another methodical loss to the Spurs, but back-to-back three-pointers from Mike Scott and Jodie Meeks sparked a 19-3 run that changed the game.

The Wizards started the second quarter 7-of-10 from the field and outscored the Spurs 38-21 in the period. On top of that, the all-bench unit played outstanding defense holding the Spurs without a field goal over a four-minute stretch in the quarter.

Kelly Oubre didn’t knock down his shots from deep but crashed the glass for putbacks and encouraged others to get in on the fun as well:

After missing all three three-pointers in the first quarter, the Wizards knocked down six in the second to turn what was a three-point deficit into a 14-point lead at halftime.

A near perfect night for Porter and Morris

Otto Porter and Markieff Morris nearly pitched perfect games tonight. Both guys knocked down their first five shots of the game and had an identical stat line of 5-5 from the field for 11 points at halftime.

Porter, got going early on on the defensive end which got his offense going. He picked off a lazy Patty Mills pass which led to an easy dunk. Just moments later, he picked off another cross-court pass for a floater in the lane to jump-start a Wizards squad that’s been the victim of slow starts as of late.

Markieff Morris started the game bullying his way for a couple of easy baskets. Then he knocked down a three-pointer in the midst of the Wizards’ second quarter run as they continued to grow their lead. Morris only took two shots after halftime as he enjoyed most of the second half from the bench. He finished a perfect 7-of-7 from the field for 15 points and knocked down his only three-point attempt. Otto Porter wasn’t too shabby either with 14 points on 6-of-7 shooting and knocked down his only two three-point attempts.

Kelly Oubre’s shot from deep wasn’t falling but still remains a factor

Kelly Oubre, who’s struggled with his three-point shot since the All-Star break continued to struggle from deep tonight. However, that didn’t prevent him from being a factor in tonight’s game. After missing some early threes, Oubre stopped settling for threes and attacked the hole either pulling up in the paint or taking it all the way to the hole.

Oubre finished the game 4-9 from the field but was 4-5 on his attempts inside the three-point arc.

Game Notes

  • The bench outscored the starters, 61-55
  • The Human Victory Cigar that is Jason Smith saw some action tonight and scored 4 points in 6 minutes. He’s now scored at least one basket in each of the last five games.
  • Washington combined for 33 assists on 46 made field goals

Next up: The Wizards are heading to Detroit to face the Pistons on Thursday at 7 p.m.

Pacers at Wizards final score: Washington uses a balanced attack to knock of Pacers 109-102

The Washington Wizards used a balanced attack led by Bradley Beal with 19 points to knock off the Indiana Pacers in a pivotal Eastern Conference matchup, 109-102. Marcin Gortat had one of his better games of the season with 18 points and eight rebounds and Kelly Oubre scored 16 points off the bench as the Wizards notch their 40th win of the season.

Washington led by as many as 20 in this one, 101-81 in the fourth quarter and looked like they might win this one in a blowout fashion. But, Pacers coach, Nate McMillan pulled his starters with 5:33 remaining in the game, which sparked an Indiana run. Indiana used a 17-4 run behind the hot shooting from Lance Stephenson and TJ Leaf to trim the Wizards lead down to seven, 105-98 late in the fourth quarter. But Scott Brooks would reinsert his starters and the Wizards would hold suit knocking off the Pacers 109-102 and win the season series, 2-1.

Takeaways 

Washington wins with a balanced attack

Five Washington players scored in double figures tonight and the team combined for 29 assists in the latest edition of ‘Everybody Eats’. After struggling for nearly the entire month of March, Gortat had a breakout game with 18 points, eight rebounds, and four assists. Kelly Oubre, who’s also struggled as of late, chipped in with 16 points off the bench including two timely three-pointers for Washington.

Tomas Satoransky continued his outstanding play with 12 points, five rebounds, and eight assists as this time; he won the dual with Cory Joseph.

The Washington bench combined for 37 points in another great all-around team effort for the Wizards.

Washington keeps Oladipo in check

Last time these two teams played, Oladipo scorched the Wizards for 33 points in an Indiana victory. That was not the case tonight as the Wizards put the clamps on Oladipo holding him to a relatively pedestrian 18 points on 7-16 shooting from the field.

Bradley Beal, who guarded Oladipo for most of the previous matchup started off defending the first-time All-Star tonight but the Wizards switched the guard positions much more freely. Tomas Satoransky also guarded Oladipo for stretches tonight and he was great at defending the dribble handoffs that the Pacers like to run.

But most importantly for Washington tonight, they limited the Pacers, specifically Oladipo’s, transition opportunities evidenced as Indiana ended the night with just four fast-break points.

Tip Ins

  • The Wizards were the beneficiaries of Indiana’s mistakes turning 15 turnovers into 26 Washington points
  • Markieff Morris turned in another strong performance with 15 points and five rebounds 

Up Next: Washington heads to San Antonio on Wednesday night where they haven’t won since 1999.

Wolves at Wizards Final Score: Washington blows fourth quarter lead, losses to Minny 116-111

With the Wizards down three, 114-111, Washington had one last chance with 15 seconds to play to even up the score. The Wizards ran a play to get Bradley Beal open for three but he caught the ball too close to the sideline and was forced to make a desperation pass just to keep the ball inbounds which got picked off for a layup by Jeff Teague. Washington blows an eight-point fourth quarter lead and loses to the Timberwolves, 116-111.

Markieff Morris was outstanding tonight leading the Wizards with a season-high 27 points and Bradley Beal added 19 but it was Karl-Anthony Towns who stole the show with a game-high 37 points on 13-17 shooting.

Washington, who led by eight entering the fourth quarter, 90-82 had many chances to put this game away. But give credit to the Wolves who blitzed the Wizards with a 14-0 run midway through the fourth quarter to take control and win this one, 116-111.

Make no mistake about it; the Wizards blew a golden opportunity to get a win against a very good Western Conference team.

Washington falls apart in the fourth quarter

Washington led 90-82 entering the fourth quarter and it looked like they had control of this one. But a 16-8 run on the heels of some hot shooting from Nemanja Bjelica brought Minnesota back and tied the game at 98 just minutes into the fourth quarter.

Things got worse for Washington as the Timberwolves used a 14-0 run and knocked down 10 of their first 12 field goals to start the quarter and regain control.

Karl-Anthony Towns, who was clutch all night, knocked down a three-pointer in the corner to put the Wolves up five with under 30 seconds to play which buried Washington’s comeback chances.

Zero resistance at the rim and too many points in the paint were the difference tonight, especially in the fourth quarter as Minnesota outscored the Wizards 34-21.

Markieff Morris turns in his best game of the season

Since the All-Star break, it seems like the play of Markieff Morris is usually a good barometer for how the rest of the Wizards squad will play.

Morris couldn’t miss to start this one as he knocked down his first four shots and only three-point attempt for nine points in the first quarter. After notching 14 points by halftime, Morris continued to stroke the ball also knocking down his first four shots of the third quarter helping the Wizards build out their lead.

Keef grabbed four rebounds and dished out two assists all while playing tough defense on Taj Gibson and Towns when switched onto him tonight.

Unfortunately for the Wizards, Morris’ big game wouldn’t be enough, as they just had no answer for Towns this evening.

Points in the paint are a problem

The Wolves scored 64 points in the paint this evening making it the third straight game where a Washington opponent has scored 60+ points in the paint. As mentioned, Towns was a force down low but tonight it was more mental lapses to go along with letting guards get into the lane too easily.

Washington committed 11 turnovers, which only resulted in 15 points, but you guessed it – many were of the live-ball variety resulting in easy baskets at the rim for Minnesota.

Tip Ins

  • Ian Mahinmi had a very good game tonight with 10 points and nine rebounds (four OREBs)
  • Tomas Satoransky was on triple-double alert with 15 points, eight rebounds, and seven assists, including this behind the back to pass to Porter for a dunk

Up Next: No time to rest as the Wizards head to Boston to take on the Celtics tomorrow night.

Wizards at Magic Final Score: ‘Everybody Eats’ yet again as the Wizards blowout the Magic 115-98

Tomas Satoransky scored a career-high 19 points to go along with six assists as the Wizards beat the Magic, 115-98, dropping them for the third time this season. All five starters scored in double-figures and the “everybody eats” model held true again tonight as the Wizards combined for 35 assists on 46 made field goals.

After enjoying a lead for the entire first quarter, the Magic made a run early in the second period with all Washington reserves on the court. Tomas Satoransky checked back into the game at the 3:31 and that flipped the tide. Washington ended the second period on a 12-2 run upon Sato’s return as the Wizards held a comfortable 56-47 lead at halftime.

The Wizards outscored Orlando 31-22 in the third period behind eight points and five rebounds from Marcin Gortat and some knockdown three-point shooting from Satoransky as Washington would blow this one open and never look back.

The starters got a rest in the fourth quarter and the ‘human victory cigar’ in Chris McCullough scored a bucket late as Washington would cruise to a 115-98 victory.

Sato with a career-high

As mentioned, Tomas Satoransky scored a career-high 19 points on 7-9 shooting including going a perfect 3-3 from long range. He added six assists and two steals only coughing the ball up once all while locking down Elfrid Payton, a guy who’s torched the Wizards this season.

Sato was outstanding tonight looking to get others involved first and then staying within himself when looking for his own shot. He pushed the ball in transition whenever the Wizards had numbers resulting in easy baskets and even two three-pointers for him as he was wide open on the wing.

The tide turned for the Wizards at the 3:31 mark of the second quarter as Satoransky re-entered the game and forced a turnover right off the bat resulting in an easy basket for the Wizards.

All around great game from Beal

Bradley Beal was outstanding tonight finishing the game with 18 points, eight assists, and eight rebounds all in just three quarters of play. Unfortunately for Beal, the Wizards had such a large lead heading into the fourth quarter so there was no need to put Beal in and chase that triple-double.

Everything was working for Beal this evening. Nice assists to get others involved? Check. Slicing through the lane and finishing over the trees at the rim? Check. That lethal step back? You bet.

This was another All-Star worthy performance from Brad in just 31 minutes of play.

Tip Ins:

  • The win gives Washington their 17th victory over Orlando in their last 19 tries
  • Marcin Gortat added another double-double with 10 points and 11 rebounds against his former team
  • Markieff Morris had another strong game with 16 points, three rebounds, and three steals tonight

Up Next: The Wizards have a very tough week ahead of them starting in Indiana against the Pacers on Monday night.

Raptors at Wizards final score: Washington wins a nail-biter, hangs on for 122-119 victory over Toronto

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.

Tip Ins:

  • 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.