RaptorsHQ Rapid Recap - Washington Wizards 111 - Toronto Raptors 108 (OT)


-The Toronto Raptors have a history of playing some weird matches against the Wizards in Washington and this one likely falls into the same category. Despite being down 57 to 42 at the half, the Raps stormed back, forcing OT before eventually falling 111 to 108. The loss knocks the Raptors to 8 and 18 on the season, and only a 1 and 2 record so far this year against the Wiz.

-In what's been the story of the season, the Raps shot themselves in the foot early, getting down by 10 after one quarter, and struggling to find any semblance of offensive execution. Making matters worse was that the D wasn't there either, resulting in near 60 per cent shooting for the Wiz, and a game that looked like a certain L for Dinos.

-It was a lackluster effort from Toronto to say the least, but Dwane Casey made personnel adjustments in the second half, riding the play of his team's top two first-half performers, Linas Kleiza and Jerryd Bayless. Gradually the Raps chipped away at Washington's lead and by the time the game's final minutes were within reach, so was a win for Toronto.

-If you were to describe the game's final minutes to someone you could simply say it was the John Wall versus Jerryd Bayles show. The two went toe to toe, accounting for almost of their teams' scoring, and even with Toronto down two, with 10 seconds left, it was Bayless' errant drive that pulled the Wizards' D in, allowing Amir Johnson to dunk the missed lay-up, sending this one to OT. (It also didn't hurt that Linas Kleiza nailed an awkward 3 with about a minute left that conjured up images of Mo Pete.)

-OT was another back and forth affair but the difference was Washington's ability to draw fouls in the end. There wasn't much scoring, but the Washington's four free throw makes to Toronto's two was the final difference on the scoreboard. Unfortunately a number of crucial mistakes at key times gave the Wizards' the opportunity to shoot said free throws, including a horrific display of defensive rebounding by Jamaal Magloire, inserted into OT at crunch time for this exact purpose. Magloire's inability to secure a Travis Booker missed free throw gave the ball back to the Wiz, forcing the Raps to foul, and well..that was pretty much it. The Wiz hit one of two, giving Toronto a chance to tie with a 3 at the buzzer, but Jose Calderon's shot failed to even draw iron.

-Bayless finished with 30 points as did Linas Kleiza, and DeMar DeRozan and James Johnson chipped in 15 and 10 each. Wall had 31 for the Wiz, but Nick Young's 29 was a big part of Washington's victory too, as the Raps simply couldn't contain the explosive backcourt. And while the Raps gave it a good run, nearly stealing one they had no business being in, the end result was loss number 18 on the year, and an entertaining match ended with a hollow ending.

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