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Wizards win third straight game

The SportsXchange

TORONTO - A 96-88 home loss to Toronto a week ago seems to have fueled the Washington Wizards' current winning streak, which reached three games Monday night with 90-84 victory over the Raptors at the Air Canada Centre.

Bradley Beal led the way with 20 points and six rebounds, while Martell Webster added 12 points.

"We came out with a totally different mentality and approach to the game," said Beal. "We haven't beat this team in a long time. Coach said when we come (to Toronto), we hardly ever compete. We wanted to prove that we can compete in this gym and I think we did a great job of doing it."

John Wall, who has played in just 22 games this season for the Wizards, had 10 points and seven assists.

With the win, the Wizards improved to 5-22 on the road this season. They also improved to 3-5 against teams with losing records.

The Wizards have won seven of their last nine games, but still sit 13th in the Eastern Conference.

"We did a great job defensively, I think that's what it was, we keyed in on their key players, and we made Rudy (Gay) make some tough shots and DeMar (DeRozan) just kept making it," Wall said. "I think we did a great job and when they made their run we didn't give up."

Gay came in averaging 21.4 points since his trade to Toronto from Memphis, but the Wizards held him to just seven points on 1-for-11 shooting.

DeRozan finished with a game-high 25 points in the loss, and Kyle Lowry added 18 for Toronto.

"We didn't do anything different than we did the past week when (Gay) put up (24 points)," said the Wizards' A.J. Price, Gay's college teammate at Connecticut. "Trevor (Booker) and Martell (Webster) did a great job contesting his shots, making him work for everything and he had a real tough night tonight."

Added Wizards coach Randy Wittman, "We haven't played particularly well, at times, offensively, but our defense gives us a chance and I thought that's what happened tonight. This was a defensive win for us tonight."

Washington (18-37) used a 7-0 run late in the third quarter to open up a nine-point lead and never looked back.

Toronto pulled to within six points on several occasions in the fourth quarter, but could get no closer.

The Wizards took advantage of the Raptors' turnovers in the first half, scoring eight points off 12 turnovers to take a 40-32 lead into halftime.

The loss was just the second in the last eight games for the Raptors, whose record slipped to 23-34 after shooting just 36.7 percent from the field against Washington.

"It was a stinker. They whipped us," said Raptors coach Dwane Casey. "We tried to turn it on, but they got us. They kicked our butt in the paint. They forced us to 12 turnovers in the first half. That was the ball game."

The Raptors' Andrea Bargnani, who was the subject to trade rumors prior to the trade deadline, finished with eight points.

Washington and Toronto meet two more times this season, including March 31 at the Verizon Center.

NOTES: Sebastian Telfair was on the Raptors' active roster for the first time since being acquired from the Phoenix Suns at the trade deadline. He did not play on Monday, though ... Terrence Ross returned to the Toronto lineup after missing Friday's game with the flu. ... The Wizards are 13-9 with John Wall this season. "He's giving them a big shot in the arm: speed, athleticism and quickness," Casey said. "He's a one-man fast break, which opens up the floor for everybody." ... If Toronto had won, it would have surpassed its 2011-12 win total of 23. ... The Wizards achieved their third three-game win streak of the season. ... Washington is 11-22 all-time in Toronto. ... The Raptors are 7-4 since acquiring Rudy Gay. ... Canadian actress Rachel McAdams was in attendance.
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