The Raptor’s game tonight against the Washington Wizards went into triple overtime at the Air Canada Centre. It was a hard fought, intense game with both teams using everything they had left in their tanks.
Averaging 18 points during the last three games, Terrence Ross led his team early with dynamic and versatile play. He mixed up his game by showing off his ability to beat his defender off the dribble, and knocking down jump shots. Early on, Greivis Vasquez and Kyle Lowry fed the ball inside to Jonas Valanciunas, opening up the floor for some outside shooting. Both Ross and Johnson knocked down consecutive threes to pull the Raptors ahead with a small lead. Steve Novak also entered the game and contributed from beyond the arc.
Throughout the second, Washington ran the floor well and scored some easy buckets off transition, but the Raptors and the Wizards showed to be two evenly matched teams who were consistently exchanging leads. Towards the end of the second, the Raps couldn’t get their hands on anything off the glass and didn’t show any hustle for loose balls, resulting in a minus 9 in the rebounding column. They closed the second quarter down by three with a score of 57-54.
The third quarter was accentuated by having Ross leave the game with an ankle injury. Vasquez came out huge off the bench though and dominated with both some nice assists and teardrop shots. He showed some fire and scored 13 points in the fourth alone. But, we were all wishing the Raps could have boxed out Marcin Gortat in the last few seconds of the fourth, as instead, his put-back with under two seconds left sent the game to what ended up being the start of three overtimes.
To sum up the overtimes, the Raptors' offense wasn't pretty and there was a lot of standing around, probably due to fatigue. On top of this, attrition set in as Patrick Patterson and Amir Johnson fouled out and Kyle Lowry injured his ankle on a drive to end the first OT period. Lowry, being the warrior that he is, stayed in the game, but wasn't nearly as effective after that. And with the Dinos' best bigs out, Marcin Gortat proved to be too much in the paint, blocking Valanciunas a couple of times in key moments, and scoring at will. Once Lowry fouled out in the game's waning moments, the Wiz went on a quick 4-0 run to take the lead for good, capitalizing on some forced turnovers when it counted most.
DeMar DeRozan led the club with 34 points while Lowry fouled out a rebound short of a triple-double.
Washington got 31 points from both John Wall and Marcin Gortat.
- Ross going out with an ankle injury hurt big time. John Salmons just couldn't get any offence going down the stretch, causing Casey to try a number of other options, including a LANDRY FIELDS SIGHTING!
-Johnson, Lowry and Patterson fouling out obviously didn’t help either.
- It will be interesting to see how these overtimes affect their performance against Golden State on Sunday, but a couple of days off should suffice. This was however the longest game in Toronto Raptors' history!
Sarah’s Eye: Amir Johnson’s windmill dunk was fabulous, simply gorgeous!