Washington Wizards star John Wall willed the team back in the fourth quarter, but his effort wasn’t enough to stop the Toronto Raptors at home.
It appears that the Washington Wizards came off the summer with more rust than rest. Both John Wall and Bradley Beal have struggled to hit shots and the Wizards, as a result, haven’t been fluid offensively.
So far this season, the Wizards appeared to be running out of gas. But Wednesday’s game against the Toronto Raptors was supposed to be the time Washington shrugged the rust off. And before the game, Marcin Gortat added that it was a “must win” – not a must win to put the Wizards into playoff position, but definitely a must win from a psychological standpoint.
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Last season, the Wizards operated under the following mantra: whatever happens, don’t let it go into overtime. Once it went into OT, the Wizards lost games they should have otherwise won.
Against the Grizzlies, the Wizards did exactly that – repeated old mistakes, went into overtime and lost, 112-103.
Washington had an opportunity to learn from the previous mistake during their home opener against the Raptors, who came into the game with a 2-1 record.
Beal scored the first two baskets of the game; his second basket a three. It looked promising as the Wizards controlled the first half of the first quarter, forcing Toronto to call two early timeouts. But the Raptors came roaring back, with the Wizards ending the quarter 29-27.
Otto Porter put in a solid performance throughout the first three quarters and almost single handedly kept the team alive.
John Wall had 5 assists with less than 4 minutes remaining in the first. His quickness was on full display, as he effortlessly drove to the basket.
Both DeRozan and Kyle Lowry were back in the locker room for a short period to tend to injuries.
Toronto’s second unit stepped up with their two All-Stars out, with Norman Powell knocking down a three.
The Raptors were raining threes, ending the game with 10 made shots from deep.
The Washington Wizards came back and ended the half with a lead, albeit slim, 56-54.
Still, it appeared as if the basket was moving for DeRozan, because practically all his shots were falling in.
Toronto now led the game at the end of the third, 84-75.
By the fourth quarter, Wall made 6 of his 7 free throws. Wall’s missed free throw occurred with less than 3 minutes in the game. Wall tried to will the Wizards to a win. He showed valiant effort, converting back-to-back steals to tie the game at 92.
But Wall was up against not only the Raptors’ starters led by DeRozan, but also their second unit, which put in an all-around solid performance.
Wall had a double-double with 33 points and 11 assists.
DeRozan, though, dominated the game from beginning to end, finishing the game and the Washington Wizards. He scored 40 points in 37 minutes.
Nonetheless, no matter how Wall appeared to carry the Wizards, he could not erase the team’s staggering 21 turnovers, 9 of which he had, allowing the Raptors to convert on those extra possessions.