Raptors 109, Wizards 104
With All-Star Chris Bosh nursing a sore ankle, Jarrett Jack
declared himself the go-to guy for the Toronto Raptors. Then he
went out and delivered.
Jack had 23 points and eight assists, Antoine Wright scored a
season-high 19 points and Toronto beat the Washington Wizards
109-104 on Saturday night, the Raptors’ ninth victory in 10 home
“Jarrett carried us,” Wright said. “He went over to coach and
said he wanted the ball and he made good things happen. It’s one
thing to request the ball, it’s another thing to actually make
things happen. He was aggressive on the pick-and-roll, he got to
the basket and got fouled. That’s what we needed.”
Jack scored 11 in the fourth, including seven straight in one
stretch, helping Toronto overcome a nine-point deficit.
“We know how desperately we need these wins coming down the
stretch, making this final push at the end of the season,
especially the ones at home,” Jack said. “They’re very crucial,
they’re very vital to how things are going to play out in the
standings. We can’t let these opportunities slip through our
Andrea Bargnani added 18 points, Hedo Turkoglu had 16, and Rasho
Nesterovic and Jose Calderon each had 10 for Toronto, which topped
100 points for the 20th straight game and won its second straight
with Bosh sidelined by a sprained left ankle.
Bosh, who missed his second straight game, was injured in the
fourth quarter Wednesday night in a home loss to Memphis and did
not travel to New Jersey for Friday night’s win over the Nets, the
first game he’d missed all season.
Andray Blatche scored 24 points, and Josh Howard had 17 as the
Wizards failed win three straight for the first time this season.
Randy Foye added 14 points, and Al Thornton and JaVale McGee each
had 10 for Washington.
“We put ourselves in position, we couldn’t make a big shot to
withstand their momentum,” Wizards coach Flip Saunders said.
The Wizards led 100-91 with 5:40 left, but Jack hit a 3-pointer,
then made four straight free throws to make it a two-point game.
After the Wizards turned it over on a shot-clock violation,
Turkoglu gave the Raptors a 101-100 lead with a three-point
Bargnani blocked shots on the next two possessions, giving
Washington seven straight empty trips. At the other end, Wright
dunked and Turkoglu made a bank shot to cap a 14-0 Toronto run,
making it 105-100 with 1:34 remaining.
Bargnani had three of his four blocks during a 2-minute stretch
in the fourth.
“Most people look to Chris as being our interior defensive
guy,” Jack said. “I thought Andrea, the last two ballgames, has
done a great job of being that physical presence we need down
Blatche scored baskets on both sides of Calderon’s two free
throws, making it 107-104 with six seconds left, but Jack made two
more from the line to keep Toronto safe.
“We should have had this game stowed away,” Blatche said. “We
just made a couple of mistakes down the line and they made us pay
Nevertheless, Washington has looked better since trading away
Caron Butler, Brendan Haywood, Antawn Jamison and DeShawn Stevenson
over the past 10 days. Toronto coach Jay Triano said before the
game that the moves have “cleansed” the Wizards, a sentiment
“We’re getting better,” Blatche said. “I like our attitude, I
like our hustle. We’re going to be a great team.”
Blatche scored 14 points in the third as the Wizards used a 22-6
run to erase a 10-point deficit. Washington led 88-85 heading into
NOTES: Wright was called for a technical foul in the third. …
After missing a dunk in the first, Turkoglu removed his protective
mask in the second. Turkoglu, who fractured his orbital bone in a
collision with Indiana’s Mike Dunleavey on Jan. 31, also removed
his mask Friday at New Jersey. … Toronto played its first
Saturday night home game since Feb 3, 2001. The Air Canada Centre
is usually reserved for Maple Leafs hockey games on Saturday
nights, but the NHL is currently on an Olympic break.