Story By Richard Thomas
Photos By: Sol Tucker
In an effort to avoid a four game losing streak, the Wizards seemed to have done that tonight against the Raptors, that was until John Wall missed two free throws with 3 seconds remaining and Cory Joseph took a pass from DeMar De Rozan on the left wing for a wide open look at a three pointer.
Joseph made the 3-pointer at the buzzer, lifting the Raptors an 84-82 victory over the Washington Wizards on Saturday night.
“I knew if I got to him clean, he was going to knock it in,” said DeMar DeRozan, who found Joseph in the corner with a kickout pass. “That’s just Cory. You can trust him with that.”
John Wall added eight of his 18 points in the fourth quarter, but shot 6 for 25 (24 percent) and missed a pair of late free throws that opened the door for Toronto.
“We felt like we let this one slip away,” Wall said. “But you can kind of deal with this, the way we competed. And that’s the most important thing.”
The Wizards have been highly criticized for their lack of defense over the past few games and maybe even this one tonight as well, but don’t tell that to Wizards Forward Marcin Gortat.
“We’ve got to cut the negativity we have coming from players, coaches, staff, media,” said Gortat, who finished with 16 points and 10 rebounds. “It’s not even fun coming here anymore. So much negativity. I understand we’re losing games, but (darn).”
Apparently its the Raptors that the Wizards just continue to struggle with, as they are now a combined 1-8 in their last 9 regular season games against a team that features a few new look players like Joseph that now have them off to a 11-6 start.
Next up for the Wizards is a road trip to Cleveland, who hit a buzzer beater of their own tonight and then back home Wednesday night against a woeful Lakers team, in what could be Kobe Bryant’s last visit to Verizon Center.