Raptors give away big lead, but recover to beat Wizards in OT
After blowing an 18-point, fourth-quarter lead against the Washington Wizards on Saturday night, the Toronto Raptors needed someone to restore order in overtime.
Their All-Star guard was a logical choice.
Kyle Lowry scored seven of his 23 points in the extra period and the streaking Raptors won in overtime for the second consecutive night after losing a large second-half lead, defeating the Wizards 120-116.
"He's our floor general, he's our leader, he's our quarterback," Raptors coach Dwane Casey said of Lowry. "And he did a good job down the stretch."
Lou Williams added 19 points and Amir Johnson scored 17 for the Raptors, who tied a season high with their sixth straight victory.
After Paul Pierce's two free throws gave Washington its first lead of the night, 111-110 with 4:04 left in overtime, the Raptors scored six consecutive points, four by Lowry.
John Wall's basket cut the lead to three, but Lowry drove, was fouled and hit both free throws with 1:25 to go, and added a clinching free throw with 6.3 seconds left.
"Attacking, being aggressive, and taking shots I knew I could make," Lowry said. "My teammates trusted me to make the big plays."
Toronto squandered a 17-point, second-half lead Friday night before outlasting the Nets.
"It definitely says a lot," DeMar DeRozan said of the overtime wins. "It shows that we're a poised, mature team. We're definitely a team to be reckoned with."
With a win before a sellout crowd at the Verizon Center, Washington (31-17) could have pulled into a tie with Toronto (33-15) for second place in the Eastern Conference.
Toronto has won its first two games against Washington this season, with one remaining.
Wall, battling migraines and a sprained right ankle, was a game-time decision for Washington. He started and led all scorers with 28 points and had 12 assists. Bradley Beal added 26 points.
Wall said he's unsure whether he'll play Monday night against Charlotte.
"The way I'm feeling now, (I'll) rest and decide what I'm going to do on Monday," he said. "This was a big game that I wanted to play because I know how much it meant to our team."
The Wizards trailed by as many as 21 points in the third, and 96-78 early in the fourth before Wall (10 points) sparked the rally. Washington tied it with 25.9 seconds left on a 3-pointer by Pierce (19 points).
DeRozan had 15 points and 10 rebounds for the Raptors, while Washington's Kris Humphries finished with 10 points and 14 rebounds.
Toronto led 33-30 after making seven of eight 3-pointers in the first quarter.
"They hit us with everything but the kitchen sink in the first quarter," Wizards coach Randy Wittman said.
The Raptors' long-range success continued. They finished the half 11 of 18 (61.1 percent) from beyond the 3-point line and shot 57.1 percent (24 of 42) overall. Toronto went 0 for 8 from 3-point range after halftime.
Raptors: Forward James Johnson missed his second straight game since injuring his right hamstring Friday. Casey said Johnson had an MRI on Saturday, with the results pending. ... The Raptors improved to 8-4 in the second game of back-to-backs.
Wizards: Nene was in the starting lineup after missing Wednesday's loss at Phoenix with a sore right foot. ... Those attending Saturday night's game received Marcin Gortat action figures, complete with a cape but minus Gortat's mohawk. ... Pierce is two points shy of tying Alex English for 15th place on the NBA's career list.
The game featured six technical fouls, all in the second quarter, with three called against each team. DeRozan and Toronto teammate Greivis Vazquez each received one, as did Wittman and Nene. Each team was also whistled once for defensive 3 seconds.
AVOIDING THE LIGHT
Wall was asked after the game if light is problematic as he deals with migraines. "Yes, like this light right here, it's killing me, that's why I'm not looking straight (at the camera)," he said. "(When they announced) the starting lineup, they had that big light and I just put my hand up to block it as much as possible, and when I'm sitting on the bench I had a towel over my head."
The Raptors host Milwaukee on Monday.
The Wizards host Charlotte on Monday.