Toronto (26-34) at Washington (19-39)

Mostly Cloudy Currently: Washington, DC
Temp: 80° F
  • Game info: 7:00 pm EST Wed Mar 3, 2004
  • TV: RNET, CSMA
Preview | Box Score | Recap

Vince Carter returned to the court Tuesday to help the Toronto Raptors snap their longest losing streak of the season.

He will now look to help the Raptors stay in the win column as they visit the Washington Wizards.

Carter scored 27 points Tuesday, leading the Raptors to an 89-86 win over the Miami Heat—their first victory since Feb. 10.

“When you’re playing short-handed and on a nine-game loss streak, any win is a big win,” said coach Kevin O’Neill, whose team is still without Jalen Rose (fractured hand) and Alvin Williams (knee). “No team in this league can lose any of its top three scorers and expect to produce offensively.”

The All-Star guard returned after missing six games with a sprained left ankle. He participated in practice on Monday, but appeared to be favoring his ankle and said he wasn’t at 100 percent before Tuesday’s game.

Nonetheless, Carter managed 15 second-quarter points, helping the Raptors rally from a 15-point deficit and score 37 in the second quarter—the most Miami has allowed this season.

“Early on (the ankle) was stiff, but I just kept going and said, ‘Think about it later,”’ he said. “My main concern was being healthy enough to go out and play.”

Donyell Marshall added 24 points for the Raptors, who are still in sixth place in the Eastern Conference despite their recent slide.

Washington beat the New Orleans Hornets 111-106 in overtime on Monday, moving within five games of the eighth-place Boston Celtics in the conference standings. The Wizards have won three of their last four games.

Gilbert Arenas played the entire 53 minutes and scored eight of his 35 points in the extra period for the Wizards, who won despite squandering a 21-point third-quarter lead.

Arenas has averaged 30.3 points in three games since refusing to shoot for 3 1/2 quarters last Wednesday against Toronto in response to teammate Kwame Brown’s complaints that the team was selfish.

Arenas, who scored 35 points in Saturday’s loss to the Los Angeles Lakers, is the first Washington player to score at least 30 points in consecutive games since Michael Jordan did it last season.

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