Instant Analysis: Raptors 88, Wizards 78

Instant Analysis: Raptors 88, Wizards 78
April 3, 2013, 8:00 pm
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Wiz-Raptors highlights

A miserable second half resulted in the Wizards (28-47) losing a game that they led by as many as 15 points and being officially eliminated from the playoffs for the fifth consecutive year at Air Canada Centre. 

Player of the game: Raptors C Jonas Valanciunas had a career-high 24 points, 10 rebounds and two blocks. He made 16 of 18 free throws. 

The rundown: The Wizards shot only 39 percent in the first quarter and the Raptors were at 53 percent, but they led 24-23 at the end because they had a 6-0 edge in second-chance points.  The bench, led by PG A.J Price, SF Trevor Ariza and SF Cartier Martin, contributed 22 points in the first half. They went on a 14-0 run in the second quarter when Price made an open three-pointer to push the lead to 41-33 and got a steal that led to a three for Martin. Nene grabbed an offensive rebound, faked a pass out of the paint and dunked and Emeka Okafor drained a jumper at the elbow. It was 48-33 when the run was over. But the Raptors SG DeMar DeRozan got the hot hand. He scored 10 points in the third quarter. His jump shot over Nene near the three-minute mark gave the Raptors their largest lead at 84-74 in the fourth. The Wizards ended shooting 26-for-80, or 32.5 percent, from the field. They only were 5 of 19, 26.3 percent, from three-point range. 

Turning point: After shooting 19.4 percent in the third quarter and putting the Raptors on the free throw line 18 times there, the Wizards still had a chance in the fourth. They closed the deficit to 74-71, but SF Landry Fields hit a floating, one-handed shot over Nene. Wizards PG John Wall missed an open jumper and PF Amir Johnson responded by making his for Toronto. Nene and Okafor missed consecutive open looks and DeRozan's jump shot at 3:46 took the wind out of Washington. 

Playing hurt: Nene (sore right knee) was concerned about his minutes coming into the game, saying he didn't think he could play more than 20 on the end of a back-to-back. He played 32 minutes but only contributed 12 points on 5-for-12 shooting and five rebounds. 

Roadblock: Wall ran down Rudy Gay and Johnson in the first quarter, negating easy layups that could've put the Wizards in a bigger hole after starting 0-for-4. He challenged Gay as he was able to still get the ball up but it hung on the rim before falling off. Johnson had a head of steam with Wall already back and didn't come close as he extended and had his timing thrown off.

Non-factor: Gay, a Baltimore native, had his third dud in a row vs. Washington. He entered the game shooting 5-for-21 in the last two meetings for 18 points. He was 2-for-8 for just six points Wednesday. In three games against the Wiz, he’s shooting 24 percent and averaging just eight points per game. 

Off the mark: Wizards SF Martell Webster hasn't been able to find his mark since his abdominal injury. At one point a top three shooter from three-point range in the NBA, he is quickly dropping. He entered the game ninth and went 0-for-4 from long range. He's now 1-for-14 in his last four games for three-point range. 

Who’s next: Saturday vs. Indiana Pacers, 7 p.m. ET on CSN+. The Pacers (48-27) will play the Oklahoma City Thunder before facing the Wizards on the end of a back-to-back.

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