After all of the glitz and glam of All Star Weekend for John Wall and Bradley Beal, it appeared that both and the remainder of the Wizards sort of were still on break against the Raptors tonight. The team came out flat, tried to finish strong, but the 20 point plus deficit from the first half was too much to counter the fast paced Raptors, in what would end up a closer 10 point loss, 103-93 then the scoreboard showed.
For the Wizards, they have had several games this season where the final few minutes of the fourth quarter seemed like the only time they would show up. Tonight it was Randy Wittman’s ejection from the game that sparked the late fourth quarter run that couldn’t stop the run by the Raptors Kyle Lowry.
Lowry, who led the way for the Raptors with 24 points and 10 assists, took the game into his own hands in the third quarter. Lowry scored nine of the 15 points in the quarter, including a driving lay-up, a short fall-away jumper and a corner 3-pointer that made it 78-61 late in the quarter.. He played the entire 12 minutes scored 14 points in the quarter.
“He took the game over in the middle of the third quarter and willed us to a win,” Raptors coach Dwane Casey said.
“I just was getting more looks, trying to attack a little more” said Lowry, who looked like he should have also been in New Orleans this past weekend. “That first game out of the break is always tough and I didn’t want to let that be an excuse for us to lose the game.”
For the Wizards, they now drop 3 games under .500 at 25-28 and have two games at home and three on the road, including a rematch against the Raptors on February 27th in Toronto.
Wittman was ejected after picking up two second technical fouls with 4:39 remaining and Washington trailing 98-82, but it was not enough for the Wizards as they could not match the Raptors shot for shot in the final minutes of the game.
“They stayed with it,” Wittman said of the fourth quarter rally. “We got the floor spread, made some shots. Uncharacteristically, (we) turned some shots down tonight. I thought we weren’t as aggressive from our perimeters with Brad (Beal), Trevor (Ariza) and Martell.