Raptors cough up the lead in the third, but unlikely heros fend off Wall’s absurd night to secure the victory for the Atlantic Division leading Raptors

Washington Wizards 88 FinalRecap | Box Score 96 Toronto Raptors
Amir Johnson, PF 25 MIN | 7-8 FG | 0-1 FT | 4 REB | 2 AST | 1 STL | 1 BLK | 0 TO | 14 PTS | +22Brought the energy on both ends. Caught some great passes from Lowry and slammed home a couple of alley-oops. Had to sit because of foul trouble, but when he played, he was effective.
Rudy Gay, SF 31 MIN | 6-16 FG | 5-6 FT | 3 REB | 1 AST | 1 STL | 4 BLK | 3 TO | 17 PTS | +2Gay had a really tough time dealing with double-teams from the Wizards, failing to make the right pass a lot of the time, or simply making them too late, and saw his minutes slashed as a result. Hit some key shots in the fourth quarter and clinched the win for the Raptors. Had a couple of blocks that made Jack squeal “get that garbage outta here”
Jonas Valanciunas, C 37 MIN | 5-14 FG | 1-2 FT | 13 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 1 TO | 11 PTS | -7Struggled mightily to defend Nene, but did a nice job on Gortat (who is slower). Got blocked a bunch in tonight’s game, including twice on one possession, but he was tenacious. Worked really hard and got rewarded with lots of looks.
Kyle Lowry, PG 36 MIN | 4-9 FG | 2-2 FT | 6 REB | 9 AST | 3 STL | 1 BLK | 3 TO | 12 PTS | -2Amazing game from Lowry. Great passes, solid defense and money from deep. You really couldn’t ask for more. Don’t be fooled by Wall’s outburst; his defense was solid. the gameplan with Wall is always to force him to shoot jumpers, and Lowry did that.
DeMar DeRozan, SG 37 MIN | 7-14 FG | 3-4 FT | 6 REB | 4 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 4 TO | 17 PTS | -7Also faced double teams from the Wizards, and he was also slow to pass out of them. Hit his usual assortment of shots. Lost Beal on defense a whole bunch. Luckily Beal just missed on a few of them, especially in the second half. Demar needs to do a better job fighting through screens.
Tyler Hansbrough, PF 19 MIN | 2-5 FG | 4-6 FT | 6 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 8 PTS | -7I’m coining a new nickname for Hansbrought: Tyler HAMsbrough, because he was going haaard tonight. He has no touch around the basket, but it doesn’t really matter when he can grab all of the rebounds.
Steve Novak, SF 19 MIN | 1-4 FG | 0-0 FT | 3 REB | 2 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 3 PTS | +15The Raptors really didn’t run a single play for him, which usually neutralizes Novak, but he hit a three right in Gortat’s eyes in the fourth which temporarily stopped the bleeding for Raptors.
D.J. Augustin, PG 5 MIN | 1-1 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 2 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 3 PTS | +6Good lord. If you’re ever going to remember a 5-minute stint from DJ Augustin, remember this one. He sunk a corner three, created a nice dunk for JV and did a little improvising to get Ross an open three with the shot-clock expiring. Really kept the Raptors afloat early in the fourth. He might have just won his backup point guard job back.
Julyan Stone, SG 6 MIN | 0-0 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 0 PTS | +4Not great.
Terrence Ross, SG 25 MIN | 4-7 FG | 2-2 FT | 3 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 11 PTS | +14When Ross’s shot is falling, and he’s still managing to get to the rim for highlight finishes, I am a fan. Unfortunately when the shot isn’t, he’s just a springy player who’s out of position a whole bunch on defense. He seems to have jumped over Fields for the first wing off the bench.
Dwane Casey
I don’t want to rag on Casey everytime I do a quick reaction, but he made some really questionable calls in this game, and none more bone-headed than going zone with Novak at the four. Wizards dominated on the glass in the third and grabbed 5 offensive rebounds on 3 possessions with Novak in the interior. And here’s the rub; if you’re going to go small with Novak as your four, at least run a play for him. Not a great night for Casey.

Five Things We Saw

  1. When John Wall’s jumper is falling, he is a superstar point guard in this league. When it’s not, he’s just a whirling dervish that leaves you scampering to SportVU to check his maximum speed with the ball. His shot was falling and he single-handedly brought the Wizards back in this game.
  2. In a related note, after watching John Wall explode in the second half, 0% of Raptors fans who watched this game still have fingernails left.
  3. The Raptors’s offense fell apart in the third. They did such a nice job moving the ball in the first half (especially the first quarter), but the Wizards just doubled/trapped Gay and Demar whenever they got the ball. This blood-stained shot chart was the result.
  4. One more time for Kyle Lowry. His whole game was on display tonight. The nifty passes, the aggressive drives to the hoop, the three-pointer from the wing, the rebounding, the steals and the aggressive defense. Great game from Lowry.
  5. Gortat was 3/10 in this game with 6 points and 8 rebounds in 31 minutes played. They traded away their first round draft pick for him. Oh boy.