Wizards

Wizards

TORONTO -- The basket never has looked as wide open for Bojan Bogdanovic as it did Wednesday, when he drained a season-high six three-point shots. In a span of 89 seconds in the second quarter, he single-handedly floored the Toronto Raptors who never could recover.

John Wall had his 39th double-double with 12 points and 13 assists and Bradley Beal had 23 points despite shooting just 1-for-6 from three, but the second unit led by the Bogdanovic delivered the Wizards a 105-96 victory at Air Canada Centre.

"With John and Bradley sometimes they're trying to force them to take tough shots and sometimes they screw up on the switch," said Bogdanovic, who was 9-for-12 shooting overall for a game-high 27 points. "That allows me to be wide open like in the second quarter a couple times."

The Wizards (36-23) were intent on not having a lifeless performance after they squeaked out a 112-108 win over the Golden State Warriors on Tuesday on the second game of a back-to-back. 

"I thought the guys did a good job of just taking care of business," coach Scott Brooks said. "We approached every possession right, with professionalism, moving the basketball, 30-something assists on 40 field goals is probably as good as we can play offensively."

Given that Bogdanovic hasn't had a lot of practice time, he has had to learn how to play with his new teammates on the fly. Since ball movement is the cornerstone of the offensive success of the Wizards this season, the transition has been relatively easy.

 

"We just had to simplify the game for him and coach did that perfectly," said forward Markieff Morris, who had five assists himself. "He made it real simple for him. He made a lot of wide-open shots. A lot of guys are capable of getting him the ball."

It wasn't just Bogdanovic. Jason Smith, who had played just four minutes in the previous three games, keyed the spurt. He made all four of his shots in 10 minutes to finish with eight points, five rebounds and two assists. 

The player who displaced Smith in the rotation, Ian Mahinmi, was an eraser inside as he played a season-high 21 minutes. Mahinmi was 0-for-3 shooting but had five rebounds, three assists, one steal and three blocked shots. Kelly Oubre only shot 2-for-8 for his seven points, but his defense on DeMar DeRozan and hustle plays contributed to holding the Raptors to 33-for-90 shooting, or 36.7%. Tomas Satoransky only had one point but he ran the offense. He had five rebounds, three assists and a steal in 18 quality minutes. 

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"Bojan played great," Smith said. "Ian was defending, protecting the rim. Tomas was going out there he was working the ball left and right, running the plays and just getting guys open. We had a great second-unit effort. That's for sure."

Bogdanovic was one short of tying his career-high for made threes. He has appeared in four games with the Wizards since being acquired in a trade with the Brooklyn Nets last week, but in the last three he has shot a combined 12 of 19 from three-point range, or 63.1%. 

Leave Bogdanovic alone and he'll make defenses play. Try to close him out too strongly on the perimeter, Bogdanovic can beat defenders off the bounce and finish through contact at the rim.

"You never know who is going to be our leading scorer," said Wall. "He's a guy that can come off pindowns, shoot the ball very well. We do a great job of spacing floor and he's able to get wide-open looks. We have to be able to knock down shots. He also is able to make plays off the dribble. I think that's what's helping us out, having us a go-to guy we can go to a little bit in the second unit."

Brooks was in such good spirts he went out of his way to praise president Ernie Grunfeld for the move. 

"The staff did a good job of putting us in a position of getting a guy like Bojan," Brooks said. "Solidifies our scoring off our bench."

And a win over the Raptors on Friday at Verizon Center can create breathing room for the Wizards in the East. 

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