In a close, hard-fought affair that saw neither team go up by more than 10 and featured 10 lead changes, this one was naturally decided in the game's final minute.
Jose Calderon set up Ed Davis inside and then drilled a tough leaner in the lane to pull the Raps within 92-90 with 45 seconds to play, but the Raptors knocked it out of bounds on an ensuing John Wall miss. They were then forced on the inbounds to foul Nick Young, who drilled the first two of five straight free throws in the final 18 seconds to ice it.
Nick Young had it going again, as he was big at the line late, but even better in the third quarter. The shooting guard carried the Wizards in that frame with 18 of his game-high 29 points, including their first 13 points after the break on a series of jump shots, many contested.
"Honestly, I don’t know how much I can fault our guys. I don’t think that he had many open looks," said head coach Jay Triano. "There were guys right there and he made tough shots. I thought in the first half we did an excellent job of keeping him going to his right and he just got it going a bit and once he gets it going he’s just lights out.”
Jose Calderon woke up with his sore left foot feeling much better on Saturday and responded with a performance Triano called one of his finest as a Raptor. With Leandro Barbosa and Jerryd Bayless sidlined, Calderon more than shouldered the load with a season-high 21 points, 15 assists and matched a career-high with nine rebounds.
Saturday also extended his recent roll in terms of his prolific assist to turnover ratio. In his last eight games he's averaged a ridiculous 7.75 assists for every one giveaway.
"I can’t ask for much more from our guys. On a back-to-back and we have so many guys who are hurt and our margin of error isn’t very good, but I don’t know if Amir can play much better than he’s playing right now with the injury he’s had. Jose had one of his best games as a Raptor, he was one (rebound) away from a triple-double, career-high in rebounds and Ed Davis was really solid."
- Jay Triano, on the effort
Mon., Jan. 17 @ New Orleans
3 PM ET, Sportsnet One, FAN590
The Raptors' road trip starts to get real tough beginning in the Big Easy in a Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Matinee. It's the first meeting of the season between the two teams, with the rematch going March 1 at Air Canada Centre. The Raps swept the two-game season series in 2009-10.
|48-39||Rebounding totals favouring the Wizards|
|19-9||Fast break points favouring the Raptors|
|17||Washington points scored off 11 Raptors turnovers|
|44-38||Points in the pain favouring the Raptors|
|10||Biggest lead for either team on Saturday|
|"By the second time I went in, I started to get a feel of the plays and the team. The more time I get with the team, the better and more comfortable I'll feel out there."|
- Sundiata Gaines, on his Raptors debut
|"He played lights out. For him he made a big shot late when it was a four point game. When Nick got hot, he got us into plays and got Nick the ball for shots, which is good."|
- Wizards head coach Flip Saunders on John Wall's performance
|"It’s really about not letting them get to their sweet spots. Try to force them off the block or get around [them] so they can’t get the ball. It’s all the little things."|
- Ed Davis, on guarding quicker fours