Game Preview: Raptors at Wizards
Toronto Raptors (43-17) @ Washington Wizards (36-26)
When: Friday, March 2, 8 P.M. ET
Where: Capital One Arena
Broadcast info: SN1, SN590
The Raptors dropped their last meeting against the Wizards, 122-119 in Washington. Though the Raptors would have opportunities in the final seconds to extend the game they couldn't convert. The Wizards were without John Wall (left knee), who also missed the team's previous two meetings against Toronto this season. Bradley Beal stepped up in his absence, scoring 25 of his 27 points in the second half, while Otto Porter Jr. added 16 points. The Raptors were led by Kyle Lowry's 29 points — 17 coming in the fourth quarter — and 23 points from DeMar DeRozan in the loss.
LEADING INTO TONIGHT'S GAME
Injury report: OG Anunoby is listed as doubtful for Toronto because of a right ankle sprain. Anunoby rolled the ankle during the first half of Toronto's victory against the Orlando Magic on Wednesday. For the Wizards, John Wall is out following left knee surgery.
February fine: In the month of February the Raptors posted a 9-2 record. In those nine victories, six were by 20+ points. Their +15.27 point differential was the best in the month of February since the 1990 Phoenix Suns.
Successful business trip: The Raptors want to avenge a 122-119 loss to the Wizards on Feb. 1, as well as finish up this two-game road trip with another win before returning to the Air Canada Centre. After Friday's game in Washington, the team will be at the ACC for a two-game stretch before hitting the road again. Toronto is an NBA-best 25-5 at home.
Pass the rock: The Raptors recorded 33 assists on 45 field goals in Wednesday's victory. This is the 47th time the team has topped 20 assists this season, compared to 34 times during the 2016-17 season. Toronto is ranked seventh in the NBA in assists per game, and is led by Kyle Lowry's 6.5 assists and DeMar DeRozan's career-high 5.2 assists per game.
Bench mob: In Toronto's victory against the Magic on Wednesday, once again it was the bench to come up big. The bench is averaging 41.1 points per game, scoring at least 40 points in each of the last 10 games, and averaging 52.4 points during that stretch. Pascal Siakam had 14 points, six rebounds, four assists, two steals and a blocked shot against the Magic. He scored 10 of his 14 in the fourth quarter where he, Jakob Poeltl and Fred VanVleet played all 12 minutes. Poeltl added 13 points, eight rebounds, five assists, two steals and three blocked shots while VanVleet scored 12 points.
No really, bench mob: A fun way to explain just how good Toronto's bench has been this season is this tweet from ESPN's Zach Lowe:
A total of 95 five-man lineups have logged at least 100 minutes this season. Best net rating/point differential among all of them: Toronto's bench mob (FVV/Wright/Siakam/Poeltl/Miles), outscoring opponents by almost 28 points per 100 possessions.— Zach Lowe (@ZachLowe_NBA) March 1, 2018