The Washington Wizards beat the Toronto Raptors 107-96 on Sunday night at the Air Canada Centre. Here's analysis of what went down...
Huge early season win: The Wizards needed this one. Having lost four of five, one more loss would have dropped them below .500 for the first time since January.
Bradley Beal made sure that wasn't going to happen. With John Wall sidelined due to a left shoulder sprain, Beal and the Wizards stepped up to earn a big win against a good Raptors team. Now the Wizards return home 5-4 with five of their next six at home.
The Raptors are one of the best teams in the East and have one of the most electric home crowds. But the Wizards were able to overcome the odds and pull out an impressive win.
Beal and Otto stepped up: With Wall out, the Wizards needed others to fill the void and that's exactly what they did. There were a lot of contributors to this win, but Beal and Otto Porter stood out above all.
Beal was dominant in the first half. He had 22 points on 9-of-11 from the field, two of them threes. That included 13 points in the second quarter alone.
Beal was consistently driving to the rim, finishing with two-handed slams and crafty layups around the rim. He ended up with 38 points and became just the sixth player in franchise history to drop 35 points or more in three straight games, following his 40 against the Suns and 36 agains the Cavs.
Porter had 19 points, nothing crazy, but eight of those were in the first half. He also had five rebounds, two steals and a block.
Major gift: The Wizards didn't have Wall, but the Raptors lost their own All-Star point guard just four minutes into the second quarter when Kyle Lowry was ejected for his second technical. Lowry hasn't been playing well to start this season and had only two points when he was bounced, but his departure made things a lot easier on Tim Frazier and Tomas Satoransky.
Lowry, by the way, kissed a kid on his way to the locker room after getting ejected:
Lowry was out for most of this one, plus DeMar DeRozan had an off night. DeRozan had 26 points, but shot 8-for-21 overall and 0-for-5 from three. Beal, Porter and Kelly Oubre, Jr. deserve some credit for that. Oubre also added 10 points and has reached double figures in five of nine games this season.
Morris much better this time: Markieff Morris' season debut against the Cavs on Friday night didn't go so well. He had only two points, shot 1-for-6 and was clearly out of rhythm. On Sunday against the Raptors, he was making an impact on both ends of the floor.
Morris had 10 points and three rebounds in his first 10 minutes. He was only able to play 17 minutes, and finished with a modest 10 points, but he showed in Toronto that he can still make a big difference with limited playing time. The Wizards know it will take weeks before Morris rounds into regular season physical shape, but Sunday was a good sign he is finding his groove.
Up next: The Wizards return home to host Dennis Smith, Jr. and the Dallas Mavericks on Tuesday at Capital One Arena. Tipoff is at 7 p.m. on NBC Sports Washington.
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