Sunday’s game: Wizards-Raptors preview

Sunday’s game: Wizards-Raptors preview
March 31, 2013, 7:45 am
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Wizards vs. Raptors

at Verizon Center

TV: CSN+, 6 p.m. ET

Season series: Tied 1-1.

Last meeting: The Wizards won 90-84 on Feb. 25 in Toronto. Rookie SG Bradley Beal had a team-high 20 points on 8-for-13 shooting to lead five players in double figures.  Raptors SF Rudy Gay was just 1-for-11 for seven points.

Previous game: The Wizards lost at the Orlando Magic 97-92 on Friday to fall to 26-46. The Raptors won at the Detroit Pistons 99-82 on Friday to improve to 27-45.

Projected starting lineups: Wizards -– PG John Wall, SG Garrett Temple, SF Martell Webster, PF Trevor Booker, C Okafor. Raptors –- PG Kyle Lowry, SG DeMar DeRozan, SF Rudy Gay, PF Amir Johnson, C Jonas Valanciunas

Pivotal matchup: Temple vs. DeRozan.  The Wizards had trouble with DeRozan, who is averaging 24.5 points in the first two meetings. While Temple can provide occasional offense, with Webster and sixth man Trevor Ariza back in the fold, he's needed more for his defense. 

Trending upward: With Ariza, Webster and backup PG A.J. Price back, the Wizards automatically will be better because of the depth. All three players, however, showed rust in their first game back. It shouldn't last. ...Wall recognized his team was falling behind and took control by scoring 35 points in Orlando. 

Trending downward: The Wizards only tallied 15 assists, in part because of their inability to knock down shots (37%). ... Wall had a game-high 35 points vs. Orlando, but only two assists. Not a good sign. The Wizards had only 15 assists total. 

He said it: “In the heat of the game, all the emotions built up, I tend to not even think about it. It's always going to be there. I'm just not worried about that any more now that I've been cleared that it wasn't as bad as I thought it was. I don't really care anymore." -- Webster on playing with abdominal injury 

Around the bend: Tuesday vs. Chicago Bulls, 7; Wednesday at Raptors, 7. Both games on CSN.