Instant analysis: Raptors 96, Wizards 88

Instant analysis: Raptors 96, Wizards 88
November 22, 2013, 9:30 pm
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Wittman: "It's not about who had a good game"

(Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports)

John Wall did everything but make shots for his teammates in leading the Wizards back from a 16-point deficit at Air Canada Centre on Friday as their two-game winning streak ended.

Wall had a season-high 37 points, including an unusual four-point play late in the fourth quarter that gave the Wizards (4-8) a chance to steal the victory.

Wall missed the second of two free throws and Bradley Beal rebounded the miss and fed Wall as he buried the three-pointer. That cut the deficit to 90-88.

But Rudy Gay wouldn't let Toronto (6-7) lose as he scored the next six points to close out the victory. Gay and DeMar DeRozan had a team-high 17 points as they led six players in double figures. 

[RELATED: John Wall goes behind-the-back before finishing layup in transition]

Nene and Marcin Gortat were in foul trouble early and never got in sync. Nene shot just 5-for-14 for 10 points and Gortat 3-for-10 for six points. Beal had 17 points but shot only 7-for-21, including 2-for-9 from three.

The game initially got away from Washington when it just 11 points in the second quarter and trailed 51-39 at the half. Wall, however, led a third-quarter surge as he contributed 18 points. Baskets by Wall and Garrett Temple gave Washington a 70-66 lead entering the fourth. 

Turning point: The Raptors opened the fourth with a 9-0 run punctuated by D.J. Augustin assisting Jonas Valanciunas on a dunk. Beal ended the spurt with a three-pointer but the Raptors responded with a layup by Gay, a three-pointer from Steve Novak and a three from Terrence Ross, which followed a turnover by Nene. The Wizards were down 10 that quickly and couldn't make it back. 

Best in show: Wall. He not only shot well (15-for-21) but he was economical in how he went about it. Wall knocked down mid-range jumpers but only after getting the other four players on the floor involved. He jumped passing lanes and scored in transition, finishing with only two assists but six rebounds and three steals. 

Points taken: Ever since Martell Webster has been shifted into the starting lineup because of an injury to Trevor Ariza (right hamstring strain), the bench scoring has suffered. They went from contributing 26 points per game. Against Toronto, that output dropped to nine points led by Kevin Seraphin with four. Toronto had 26 bench points, led by Ross with 11. 

[RELATED: How many shots should Wall take?]

Key stats: The Raptors shot 10 more free throws with 23 and won the rebounding battle 46-39.

Re-appearance: Seraphin looked as if he was headed to not playing for the third game in a row, but Marcin Gortat picked up his fourth foul late in the third quarter and had to be replaced. Seraphin responded quickly, rebounding and putting back a missed three-point shot from Beal. Seraphin's two free throws gave his team a 65-62 lead. Unfortunately for him, the good vibes didn't last long. Seraphin had his right hook across the lane blocked by Rudy Gay and then fouled Gay on a pass attempt on the other end. Seraphin was quickly pulled and didn't return. 

DNP: Rookie Glen Rice didn't play for the second game in a row. Al Harrington (right knee) and Ariza were inactive.

Up next: The Wizards returned to D.C. late Friday night. They'll play their fourth game in five days vs. the New York Knicks at Verizon Center on Saturday (CSN, 7 p.m. ET).

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