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The Wizards evened the series with the Raptors on Sunday night, coming back from down 14 points in the second half in 106-98 win. Bradley Beal and John Wall combined for 58 points to lead the Wizards in the Game 4 victory, while DeMar DeRozan scored 35 for Toronto.
Beal finished with 31 points in 31-plus minutes after being in foul trouble most of the game. The first time All-Star made 10-of-19 from the field, including 5-of-7 from deep and 6-of-7 from the free throw line. He fouled out with 4:58 left in the game, but the Wizards were able to lock the Raptors down the rest of the way and get the win. Washington ended the game on a 14-4 run en route to the win.
"I just gathered my emotions, gathered my thoughts and told my team we were going to win, regardless," Beal said. "I knew if we still had John [Wall] in the game I loved our chances. He did a great job of leading the guys and icing the game with a nice jumper in the corner and getting stops. So, that was definitely a maturity level that I hit, and a face of adversity that I had to overcome, just gather myself and be a leader, being vocal and keeping everyone encouraged in the game.”
Wall led the charge once Beal fouled out, scoring eight of his 27 points in the final five minutes of the game. He added 14 assists, six rebounds, and three steals in another key performance, willing the Wizards to victory with a 3-1 deficit looming with a loss. His defense on DeRozan down the stretch anchored the team defensively and was the on-court leader the team needed in a tight situation.
"When Brad went out, I knew I had to do whatever it took: guarding DeMar DeRozan, making plays, scoring the ball and passing the ball," Wall said postgame. "I just wanted to do whatever, so that we could advance to Game 5, tied 2-2.”
“You have to have resolve to win in this league,” Scott Brooks said about the comeback and the last five minutes of the game. “We’ve had some tough moments this year with John [Wall] missing half the season, but we found it and it put us in a position to make the playoffs through resolve.”
The Raptors got out to a 15-4 start and controlled the game in the first quarter, getting to the line at will. DeRozan attempted 12 free throws in the opening 12 minutes, but did not make a field goal. Players were hearing the whistle constantly, as the game slowed down with a lot of foul calls. In the first half, Kyle Lowry, Jonas Valanciunas, Mike Scott, Markieff Morris, and Beal all had two fouls early on.
Toronto led 51-40 at the half, holding the Wizards to 16-of-47 (34.0%) shooting and outscored Washington 17 to four in the fast break. The Raptors’ defense was dominating the game, but the Wizards had an answer in the second half.
Sparked by Otto Porter Jr.’s quick eight points in the beginning of the third quarter, leading a 13-2 run to bring the Wizards all the way back after trailing by as many as 14. The Wizards would match their first half total with 40 points in the third quarter, making 15-of-23 (65.2%) shots including 5-of-6 from beyond the arc. The game was knotted at 80-80 heading into the fourth quarter.
The Raptors started the fourth quarter on an 8-0 run, once again taking control of the game. The Wizards would respond, however, putting stops together and tying the game at 90-90. Beal would foul out soon after, but Wall and the Wizards played tough defense and made the right plays to get the win. Marcin Gortat, Kelly Oubre Jr., Morris, and Porter all made huge plays down the stretch to help Washington’s All-Star backcourt finish the game.
The series continues on Wednesday in Toronto for Game 5. Tip is set for 7:00pm as one team will take a 3-2 advantage.
“We were down 2-0 to the number one seed,” Oubre said postgame. “We're the eight seed. We could've imploded last game and let them go up 3-0 so that we would not have a chance but instead we made it back 0-0 so now it's a series of three. We're going back to Toronto and we got to take care of business.”