Wizards meet Raptors Friday in Toronto

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The Wizards (8-18) head to Toronto for a matchup with the Raptors (19-8) Friday night at 7:30 P.M. in the first game of a road back-to-back. The Raptors and Wizards have yet to meet this season and enter the game on opposite trajectories, Toronto is riding a three-game winning streak and the Wizards having lost eight of their last 10 games.

Game Info

Scotiabank Arena | 7:30 P.M. | NBCSW | 1500 AM

Probable Starters

Wizards: G – Isaiah Thomas, G – Bradley Beal, F – Isaac Bonga., F – Davis Bertans, C – Ian Mahinmi

Raptors: G – Kyle Lowry, G – Fred VanVleet, F – Patrick McCaw, F – OG Anunoby, C – Serge Ibaka

Injury Report

Wizards: Thomas Bryant (right foot stress reaction – out), Rui Hachimura (groin injury – out), Jordan McRae (right ring finger surgery – out), C.J. Miles (left wrist surgery – out), Moritz Wagner (left ankle sprain – out), John Wall (left Achilles rehab – out)

Raptors: Marc Gasol (left hamstring strain – out), Stanley Johnson (left groin stress reaction – out), Norman Powell (left shoulder injury – out), Pascal Siakam (stretched groin - out), Matt Thomas (left middle finger fracture – out), Fred VanVleet (right knee contusion – available)


Wizards prep for difficult Eastern Conference back-to-back

Coming off one of their toughest losses of the season against the Bulls on Wednesday, the Wizards face one of their most difficult challenges on the schedule: a road back-to-back against two of the better teams in the NBA. Both the Raptors and the Sixers rank in the top five in the Eastern Conference and in the top 10 in the league in net rating. The defending champion Raptors, sitting at fourth in the conference with a 19-8 record, have been one of the most intriguing stories in the league this season, maintaining a level of play few expected following the departure of Finals MVP Kawhi Leonard this summer. Toronto has seen progression from a number of young pieces, most notably Pascal Siakam and Fred VanVleet; however, the Raptors may be without both on Friday. The Sixers had won nine of 10 games before dropping their last two games. Philadelphia sits at fifth in the East and will look to avenge a loss to the Wizards from earlier this month.

Raptors battling an injury bug of their own

As the Wizards continue to fight through injuries that have sent their rotation into flux, they’ll meet up Friday with a team going through something similar. Toronto went into Wednesday’s game against Detroit without Fred VanVleet (knee), Stanley Johnson (groin) and Matt Thomas (finger) only to see a pair of starters unable to finish the game. Norman Powell (shoulder) and Marc Gasol (hamstring) each left the game against the Pistons and will not play Friday night against the Wizards. VanVleet is listed as questionable and should have a chance to play against Washington. With Powell and Gasol unable to go, Patrick McCaw and Serge Ibaka will likely see plenty of action against the Wizards. After Gasol went down Wednesday night, Ibaka went on to play 31 minutes, the most he has played in game since October, setting season highs in points (25) and rebounds (13).

Latvian duo Bertans and Pasecniks make NBA history

Wizards players Davis Bertans and Anzejs Pasecniks made a bit of history Wednesday night against the Bulls, becoming the first pair of Latvian teammates in NBA history. Pasecniks made his NBA debut against Chicago after joining the Wizards on a two-way contract earlier in the day. Pasecniks made his presence known, finishing plus-15 in 27 minutes of action. Bertans, who hit seven 3-pointers on his way to a team-high 26 points, and Pasecniks both reflected on what it meant to them after the game:

“You can’t even imagine what kind of a small possibility it is,” Bertans said. “It’s an amazing feeling. It shows that basketball in Latvia is growing very rapidly and hopefully it keeps going up from there.”

“Actually, we saw some Latvians in the crowd, too,” Pasecniks said. “Of course it’s nice. We’re from a small country and every time something big happens, all the people in Latvia are happy and its big for (Latvia) now having four NBA players.”