TORONTO – Not only did the Wizards build onto what they accomplished the previous night in upsetting the Golden State Warriors, but they thoroughly dominated a conference foe in the Raptors to solidify their standing 105-96 on Wednesday at Air Canada Centre.
The Wizards (36-23) won their second game in a row since coming out of the All-Star break 0-2 and drew even in the season series 1-1 with Toronto (36-25). The winner of Friday’s rematch at Verizon Center will determine who has the tiebreaker should they have the same record after 82 games.
John Wall (12 points, 13 assists) posted his 39th double-double, and Bradley Beal (23 points) and Marcin Gortat (12 points, eight rebounds) were able to get what they wanted early. But it was the second unit, led by Bojan Bogdanovic (team-high 27 points), that sparked a 26-3 run to blow it open.
The Raptors were led by DeMar DeRozan (24 points) but didn’t have much help outside of Serge Ibaka (22 points, 12 rebounds) and Cory Joseph (11 points). Joseph is starting in place of Kyle Lowry who is out because of wrist surgery.
Jason Smith (eight points, five rebounds) and Kelly Oubre (seven points) contributed to the effort by the reserves.
The Wizards will be off Thursday and are expected to have new acquisition Brandon Jennings on Friday.
--Smith had played just four total minutes in the previous three games but when he was inserted with Tomas Satoransky, Oubre, Bogdanovic and Ian Mahinmi the tone of the game changed. The Raptors shot 9-for-27, or 33%, while the Wizards were 13-for-19 for 68.4%.
--The defense of Otto Porter, who failed to score in 19 minutes, and Oubre on DeRozan was exceptional. And when Morris had to switch onto the 6-6 scorer they went under the screens and forced him to take difficult jumpers over length. While DeRozan got his points, he shot just 7-for-20 from the field. Porter's counterpart for Toronto, DeMarre Carroll, also failed to score. He played 30 minutes.
--Gortat was disciplined, too, against Jonas Valanciunas. He didn’t bite the pump fakes, similar to how the perimeter defense stayed grounded when DeRozan does it. It led to the Raptors’ big man shooting 3-for-12 from the field and only playing 21 minutes.
--Beal appeared in his 55th game. That matches his total games played for the 2015-16 season when he was plagued by stress reactions in his lower right leg.
--Mahinmi didn’t do much in terms of offense, but he was caught on a switch on Joseph and stayed on top of him to block his shot at the rim. It was another example of where he can be valuable when dribble penetration compromises the perimeter defense.
--Coming off 19 turnovers vs. Golden State, the Wizards were able to prevent the extra possessions for Toronto. They had 12 in this one. The Wizards only had five fast-break points but what made this performance so sound was that they had 32 assists on 40 field goals. The Raptors had just 11 assists on 33 field goals. The franchise low was six. They only had half that total midway through the fourth quarter.