THE FACTS: The Washington Wizards (18-37) earned their seventh win in nine games, defeating the Toronto Raptors (23-34) 90-84, in a gritty contest at Air Canada Centre Monday night. Despite turning over the ball 20 times, the Wizards looked very much in control, behind rookie Bradley Beal's 20 points and A.J. Price's 12 off the bench. Nene scored 11 points and nine rebounds, while John Wall added 10 points and seven assists, including the go ahead basket to put the game away.
After futile shooting, where neither team shot above 36 percent from the field, the Wizards took a 40-32 lead into halftime The Raptors finally figured out a way to get the ball in the basket in the third quarter, going on an 11-2 run with 4:16 left, tying the game at 49-49. But Beal broke the tie with a 3-pointer and keyed a 15-5 Wizards run to end the quarter, 63-43 scoring seven points of his own during that stretch.
The fourth quarter saw the Wizards extend to their longest lead of the game at 12, with Nene scoring nine of his 11 points in the quarter. The Raptors could only claw as close as five points with 1:03 left at 83-78. However, Wall's driving lay-up at 45.9 seconds sealed the game and led to a series of free throws before the final buzzer.
Despite a poor shooting and an off-game from their leading scorer Rudy Gay, DeMar DeRozan scored a game-high 24 points, while Kyle Lowry added 18. Raptors scoring leader Gay was held to 1-for-11 shooting from the field and added six rebounds and five turnovers as a team, the Raptors shot only 36.7 percent from the floor.
QUOTABLE: "The one constant all year for us has been Bradley Beal. He had a first tough couple of weeks, but that's expected. But he's been so consistent for us over the past two months on bringing it every night on both ends of the floor."
-- Wizards guard Price on Beal.
THE STAT: It's incredible to think that a team could turn over the ball 20 times, leading to 25 points for their opponent and win, but that's exactly what the Wizards did.
TURNING POINT: The Wizards never trailed in the second half, however the Raptors continued to hang around. Not until Wall's drive down the lane and easy finish with 45.9 seconds left put the Wizards up 85-78 and sealed the win.
QUOTABLE II: "It was a stinker. They whipped us. They outworked us. We tried to turn it on, but they got us. They kicked our butt in the paint. They forced us into 12 turnovers in the first half. That was the ball game."
-- Raptors head coach Dwane Casey on his team's performance.
HOT: Price came off the bench for Washington providing key scoring, shooting 5-for-7 from the field, including 2-for-2 from the 3-point line.
NOT: Gay came off a season-high 32-point game against the Knicks and didn't make his first field goal until the fourth quarter. He shot 1-for-11 from the field and finished with six points, six rebounds, four assists and five turnovers. The team wins with him and loses with him.
NOTABLE: Washington is 13-9 with Wall in the line up, this was their fifth road win of the season, (5-22). Beal has now scored 20+ in eleven games this season. Actress Rachel McAdams was in attendance. Sebastian Telfair, who was recently traded to Toronto for Hamed Hadaddi, was active, but did not play. Mickael Pietrus was inactive for the Raptors.
UP NEXT: For the Raptors; Wednesday @ Cleveland, Friday vs. Indiana, Saturday @ Milwaukee. For the Wizards; Wednesday vs. Detroit, Friday vs. New York and Sunday vs. Philadelphia.