February 6th Game Recap: Wizards vs. Raptors
The Wizards survived a fourth quarter rally and knocked off the Toronto Raptors 111-108 in overtime on Monday night at Verizon Center.
The Wizards controlled the pace of the game for 3 quarters of play and played one of their better games of the season. But, a late fourth quarter charge brought the Raptors back to life and thanks to some hot shooting from Jerryd Bayless and Linas Kleiza, the Raptors were able to tie the game at 105 and send it into overtime.
However, the young Wizards did not sulk or let their guard down and were actually able to tighten up their defense in the extra frame. The Wizards held the Raptors to just three points in the overtime period and were able to make every key stop when it counted.
It may not have even gone into overtime if it were not for John Wall's clutch three point play near the end of regulation. After Kleiza hit another big three pointer to give the Raptors a one point lead with just under one minute to play, Wall had the ball in his hands with the team trailing by one. He was able to draw contact and finish with a tough floater to give the Wizards the lead back with 25 seconds left in the game. His made free throw to complete the three-point play would prove to be huge as the Raptors came back and tied the game with an Amir Johnson putback slam. Nick Young was unable to hit the game-winner at the end of regulation, but he was able to grab the key offensive rebound at the end of the overtime period to seal the Wizards win.
John Wall (31) and Nick Young (29) combined for 60 points to lead the Wizards, while Trevor Booker added 19 points, four rebounds, and three blocks (including a monster block in the overtime period).
Jordan Crawford came off the bench to drop in 13 points.
Next, the Wizards will host the New York Knicks on Wednesday night at Verizon Center (7pm).
WIZARDS GUARD JOHN WALL:
On Trevor Booker:
“Trevor (Booker) always gives us a lot of energy when is in the game. Rebounding, blocking shots and making all the big hustle plays.”
On the win:
“We played well tonight. We just got to try and keep playing hard and get going. We have two tough games coming up on Wednesday and Friday, and we need to be ready.”
On playing with the game on the line:
“I don’t get nervous, those are the best times, those are the times to shine… I talked to Coach Wittman: ‘He told me to stop thinking so much and just play basketball and be aggressive on both offense and defense.”
WIZARDS GUARD NICK YOUNG:
On getting the win:
“It definitely feels good. We were embarrassed last time against Toronto so we wanted to come out and play well. It was a redemption game. We trusted each other, played in the system and were able to get a win. We continued to battle and grinded out a win tonight.”
On John Wall and Trevor Booker:
“John is everywhere on defense for us and that’s what we needed. Everyone came out with a lot of energy and he was a leader out there. He made some big shots and did a great job getting us into position to covert opportunities on the offensive end. Trevor (Booker) played with a lot of energy and helped us get off to an outstanding start. It was a great team win.”
Wizards FORWARD TREVOR BOOKER:
Wizards Head Coach Randy Wittman:
On the game:
“A win is a win, so we’ll take it. They came out tonight working hard right from the start. John (Wall) led them on both ends of the floor. His pacing was incredible and he made some great decisions tonight getting to the basket. The rest of the team really came together behind him. That is as good of a game as I have had with him. We do have things we need to clean up though. We have to be willing passers, and make simple plays. John was making the right plays and nice pick and rolls with Trevor (Booker). Everyone on this team can make plays and we need to trust that.”
“I think it was phenomenal. We had a few breakdowns but had great pressure. If you’re making games out of aggression, then do what you need to. We can’t play soft. In the fourth quarter we covered shooters. (Jerryd) Bayless was making great shots and we were able to cover them in overtime.”
On the team’s progress:
“I’m not disappointed in them. We are taking steps and we are going to correct our mistakes. That is the growing up process that I am going to have to be patient with. We got the win and that is what we needed both mentally and physically. I am happy for that. These young kids have to learn how to play down the stretch in games that become hectic. We were much better tonight in recognizing what the Raptors were doing.”