April 1st Game Recap: Wizards vs. Raptors
A good effort put in from an undermanned Wizards squad resulted in a 99-92 loss to the Raptors on Sunday night in Toronto.
The Wizards played without four of their bigs, as Trevor Booker and Nene joined Andray Blatche and Rashard Lewis on the injured list, which left a very thin frontline left to try and pull this one out. But, Kevin Seraphin and Jan Vesely stepped up in a starting role and gave the Wizards a chance to pull off the road win.
The team trailed by as much as 15 points in the second half, but put in a valiant effort and were within three in the final seconds. However, the Raptors did just enough and made all of their free throws down the stretch to finish off the Wizards to secure the win and get the series split at two games apiece.
Seraphin had a career-high 16 points to go along with his seven rebounds in 34 minutes of play on Sunday night. Vesely also played 34 minutes and ended the night with 10 points, four rebounds, and four assists.
Six Wizards players ended the night in double figures, led by Jordan Crawford who finished with 18 points.
Chris Singleton had one of his better nights as a pro, dropping in 15 points, 4-4 from 3-point range, and pulling down eight boards.
John Wall attained another double-double, tallying 13 points and 11 assists.
Roger Mason Jr. added 12 points off the bench.
Next, the Wizards return home to host the Milwaukee Bucks on Monday night at Verizon Center.
WIZARDS GUARD JORDAN CRAWFORD:
You were undermanned but it still went down to the last minute…
We competed, no doubt about it. I still feel with an undermanned team we should have won the game. We had a lot of mental lapses, a lot of stupid mistakes that cost us the game.
What allowed you guys to get back in the game when you were down 15?
We are a better team now. We feel like we are in every game, I think the team believes. Mase (Roger Mason) made a couple of big shots and we got back in it.
Are you happy with the direction of the team?
We are definitely going in a good direction. Coach Wittman is keeping us focused even though it’s a losing season. I think we have a lot of pieces that will allow us to win a lot of ball games in the future.
WIZARDS FORWARD CHRIS SINGLETON:
What allowed you guys to get back into the game?
We were getting stops. We would get it to four or six points and then they just went straight line to the basket. They would make one basket and go on their little spurts. It’s a game of streaks.
You guys played undermanned tonight…
It is tough, but we have been like this before. We have won in New Orleans where we didn’t have a lot of people. (Brian) Cook wasn’t here and we didn’t have Nene, so we have dealt with it before so it is no excuse. We are all NBA players, you just have to go out there and play.
You managed to keep another opponent under 100 points, what is working?
We are just committed to defense. It is team oriented and we are just missing out on a few possessions where we didn’t get stops and that is the difference in the game.
You looked like you were being more assertive on offence?
I was just open, making my shots and my team was finding me. I have just been trying to be aggressive.
WIZARDS HEAD COACH RANDY WITTMAN:
Thoughts on tonight’s game…
We couldn’t get over the hump. I thought our guys fought hard being short-handed the way we were. We just couldn’t get over the hump, rebounding hurt us tonight. Their size, obviously when we had to go to the bench and moved Chris (Singleton) to four, we couldn’t control the boards and I think that was really the difference in the game.
Thoughts on the 25 assists tonight….
We were moving the ball pretty good, can’t complain about that. They had some straight-line drives we gave up late after a pretty good defensive scheme to start the possession, and then they just beat us one-on-one to the basket a couple of times, that hurt us.
What changed around, you were down 15 and brought to within three?
We hung in there, that’s what is going to happen. We struggled a little bit shooting the ball early and got down. We kept pushing and fighting. Games swing like that and our guys never really put their heads down when they got down. I think that’s a key in fighting, getting your way back in it. That’s what I think they did more than a scheme of changing things. We don’t have a lot of bodies that I can do a lot of different scheming with, other than moving Chris (Singleton) down to the four and I thought he did a great job when he went down there, but then it probably hurt us a little bit on the boards too.