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Wizards fall short against Raptors, 102-95
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After facing the defending champion Golden State Warriors on Wednesday, the Wizards fell short to the Eastern Conference leading Toronto Raptors on Friday night, 102-95. Toronto tied the season-series at 2-2 with the win.
Plagued by 18 turnovers and only 15 bench points, Otto Porter Jr.'s 24 points and Bradley Beal's 23 were not enough in the Wizards loss. DeMar DeRozan scored 23 points, including two huge baskets late in the game, and C.J. Miles had 20 off the bench, outscoring the Wizards' bench by himself.
"Seems like every night, somebody steps up," Scott Brooks said of the Raptors' bench. "The big fella [Fred] VanVleet, [Pascal] Siakam, [CJ] Miles tonight, you know, 20 points. We couldn't make a three off of our bench. We made one – Kelly [Oubre Jr.]. Kelly was 1-for-6. He made [one] and they made eight as a bench so I think that's the difference."
The Wizards out-rebounded the Raptors 47-34, including 15 offensive rebounds, and scored 18 second chance points to make up for the Raptors' 27 points on 18 Wizards turnovers. Toronto, on the other hand, only turned it over seven times all game. Outside of Miles (6-of-9 3PT), the rest of the Raptors only made 4-of-24 triples and missed several wide open shots in the fourth quarter.
After a strong 27-19 first quarter, which featured an 18-4 start, the Wizards gave back the lead in the second quarter. The Raptors used a 22-9 run to begin the second, and took the quarter 32-20. Six Wizards turnovers for 10 Raptors points and 11-of-18 Toronto shooting was the difference. Toronto's bench dominated Washington's second unit in the first half with a 22-9 advantage.
Porter scored 13 of his 24 in the third quarter, pacing the Wizards to take a late lead in the quarter. He turned in his second straight 20-plus point game, making 9-of-12 field goals and 2-of-3 from beyond the arc. Markieff Morris added three key baskets in the third quarter after starting the game 3-of-9 from the field. He would finish with 15 points, but did not attempt a shot in the fourth quarter despite being guarded by the smaller Miles in crunch time.
The Wizards used a 6-0 run to take an 82-80 lead early in the fourth, but the Raptors made big plays to eventually retake the lead 85-84. Other than a tie at 87-87 after a Tomas Satoransky layup, Miles and DeRozan would take over from there and the Raptors did not trail the rest of the way.
Satoransky finished with 10 points, six rebounds, and eight assists, but a career-worst six turnovers. The Wizards bench had only 15 points on 6-of-22 shooting and struggled with the Raptors' bench and their physicality.
"There's definitely a lot of moving pieces and parts and we were trying to make some more ball movement and we're slipping up a little bit too many times," Brooks said of the team's turnovers. "It's costing us leads. It's costing us ball games. We've got to clean it up."
The Wizards finished their national TV gauntlet schedule with wins over Cleveland, Philadelphia, and Milwaukee, and two fairly close games against Golden State and Toronto. Considering those five games and the Charlotte game were played in nine days, the Wizards have to feel satisfied with their record against some of the best teams in the league.
“It was a tough schedule obviously," Satoransky said postgame. "A week ago, we said we were only going to have playoff teams against us now. It could be good for us to adjust to playing playoff basketball. Really, I felt that these three games were really physically good for us, especially today, the Raptors. We played a pretty intense game and I think it could be helpful for us in the future."
Next up, the Wizards (36-27) host the Pacers in a key Eastern Conference matchup on Sunday at 6:00pm.