Raptors 98, Wizards 88By Benjamin Standig, The Sports Xchange | The SportsXchange – Tue, Feb 19, 2013 10:01 PM EST
WASHINGTON -- Rudy Gay and DeMar DeRozan each scored 24 points as the streaking Toronto Raptors overcame the All-Star break hiatus and a faulty scoreboard for a 96-88 win over the Washington Wizards on Tuesday night. Kyle Lowry added 11 points and 10 assists as the Raptors (22-32) matched their season-high with their fifth straight victory. Toronto surged ahead with a 16-6 run closing the second quarter and fended off various Washington rallies. Bradley Beal scored 25 points, and Martell Webster had 16 for the Wizards (15-37), who have dropped two straight games. Washington turned around its season with a recent strong effort at home, winning three straight and eight of nine entering the break. Against the Raptors, the Wizards simply turned the ball over as their 17 turnovers led to 24 points for Toronto. The Wizards are 10-9 since John Wall returned from a knee injury on Jan. 12, but the point guard committed seven turnovers and finished 1-of-12 from the field against Toronto, finishing with nine points. The Raptors led 73-65 after three quarters. Twice in the fourth, the Wizards closed within four points and trailed 83-78 following a Martell Webster 3-pointer. Toronto countered with a 7-1 run capped by Gay's thunderous dunk and third 3-pointer of the game with 2:22 remaining. John Lucas III added 10 points for the Raptors. Toronto finished 18 of 20 from the free throw line. Emeka Okafor had 12 points and Trevor Booker had 10 for the Wizards, who shot 39 percent from the field. Both teams exchanged lengthy scoring runs in the first half, but the Raptors had more of them and led 55-46 at halftime. With Toronto trailing 39-36, Gay scored seven points during a 9-0 spurt and finished the half with 14 points. DeRozen scored 14 points and nailed jumpers ending the first and second quarters as the Raptors' full-throated bench counted out the final seconds. That extra was required because the shot clock and portions of the Verizon Center scoreboard malfunctioned throughout the entire game. Temporary shot clocks were placed in corners of the court plus a scoreboard in front of the scorer's table. Wizards guard Jordan Crawford, Washington's leading scorer for most of the season, did not play for the fourth straight game. After the final buzzer, the third-year guard removed his jersey and flung it into the stands. NOTES: Beal returned to the starting lineup for the first time since January 28. The rookie came off the bench for the final three games before the All-Star break after missing the previous five with a sprained right wrist. ... After coming off the bench for the final game before the break, Raptors forward Amir Johnson re-entered the starting lineup, replacing Landry Fields. ... Gay's in-game presence has been an obvious boon for the Raptors, especially in the ninth inning, err, final minute. "It's like the baseball player (Mariano) Rivera. You've got to have a closer," Raptors coach Dwane Casey said. Acquired from Memphis on Jan. 30, the 6-foot-8 small forward nailed game-winning baskets against the Denver Nuggets and Indiana Pacers. "He gives us confidence in those situations whether he makes or misses it," Casey added" .You feel like you have a legit chance of getting that shot down." ... Gay plays his former team Wednesday night when Toronto visits Memphis. Washington continues its three-game homestand Friday against Denver.
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