The Washington Wizards lost to the Toronto Raptors 129-120 on Wednesday night. Here are five observations from the game:
1. The instinct for some may be to chalk up losses like the one the Wizards suffered in Toronto on Wednesday night as moral victories. Technically, they were competitive against a top-shelf Raptors team and on the road, where the Wizards are especially bad.
But the big picture as they enter the All-Star break is hard to ignore. They have lost five of seven games and seven of their last 10. They now get eight days off to think about it after what has been their worst stretch in nearly two months.
It would have been hard for the Wizards to go into the break on a less encouraging note. Maybe it's for the best they get some time off to reset.
2. Pascal Siakam is officially a problem. The rest of the league has come to learn that this season and now the Wizards are well-aware.
Siakam went off for 44 points, 10 rebounds and three blocks. The last time these teams played, he put up 24 points, 19 rebounds, three steals and two blocks.
The Raptors were missing Kawhi Leonard and Fred VanVleet, but they still had more talent than the Wizards. Siakam stepped up and played like an All-Star and Kyle Lowry (14 points, 13 assists) and O.G. Anunoby (22 points) pitched in as well.
The Wizards went 0-4 this season against the Raptors and Leonard didn't play in two of those games. Not good.
3. The third quarter was weird. The Wizards led by six at halftime and pushed that to 12 at the 8:48 mark. Raptors coach Nick Nurse then called a timeout and must have worked some serious coaching magic because his team responded with a 15-0 run to take control.
They kept going. The run grew to 33-9 before the Wizards knocked down some shots at the end of the third. The Raptors outscored the Wizards 44-28 in the frame.
That gave the Raptors a 10-point lead at 103-93 entering the fourth and the Wizards could never fully recover.
4. Jabari Parker had an awful game on Monday against the Pistons. He was held scoreless on a night the Wizards really could have used some production from him on the offensive end.
But Parker bounced back against Toronto and in a big way. By halftime, he had 10 points and seven rebounds. He finished with 22 points, nine rebounds and four assists.
The Wizards need Parker to score more than anything else. That’s what made his dud in Detroit so troubling. But if he can do what he did against the Raptors more often than not, he will fit in just fine in Washington.
It should be noted, however, that Parker had some really bad turnovers. He had four on the night, including one in the second quarter where he just lost the ball out of bounds and another in the fourth where he tried a behind-the-back pass to Wesley Johnson for a corner three that was completely off the mark.
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