It wasn't until 1:58 remained in the fourth quarter that the Wizards were within five points or less of the Toronto Raptors, so there was no last two-minute game report issued by the NBA Thursday. That means there's no official word on whether John Wall's block of DeMar DeRozan, which sent him to the foul line for the 14th and 15th times, was the proper call or not.
DeRozan tried to back down Wall into the mid-post. Wall didn't bite his pump fakes and elevated to block it cleanly. Instead of the score being 90-88 with 48 seconds left, DeRozan was able to make it a two-possession game. Could the call have been because of lower body contact? Possibly. But the result, a 94-91 win by Toronto, wouldn't have changed anyway.
The greater issue, as Wizards coach Randy Wittman sees it, is that the Raptors went to the foul line 39 times compared to 17 for his team. He stopped short of saying too much to avoid a fine for publicly criticizing officiating.
"I ain't going to say anything about the whistle but some of that was ridiculous," Wittman said. "The block by John. I don’t know, because he got a technical you’re going to hold that against him? I don’t know. You’ll have to ask them.”
Wall was issued a technical with 3:13 left in the fourth by Pat Fraher. Marcin Gortat had just gone to the floor on a slice to the basket and didn't get a whistle and Wall felt like contact was made on his missed layup by Terrence Ross. Then when an off-balance Kyle Lowry appeared to sell contact on Otto Porter for two free throws, Wall was T'd up.
When it was all over, the Wizards trailed 90-81 before mounting a comeback in which they had several chances at the end to force overtime.
"I’m used to it by now," Wall said of his persistent frustration over not getting foul calls.
Lowry was issued a warning by the league for flopping in a game vs. the Chicago Bulls earlier in the week.
“We fought, gave ourselves three great looks at it and they didn’t go in. It shouldn’t come down to that," Wittman said. "In the first half we were non-aggressive. They were getting offensive rebound after offensive rebound. We can say we’re shorthanded. That’s an excuse. We got to do a better job of being the aggressor for 48 (minutes)."
The Wizards put themselves in a hole by allowing 15 offensive rebounds by the Raptors. The questionable call on Wall aside, the whistles tend to favor the more aggressive team over the long haul.