“We gotta compete better. We need all hands on deck, everybody that steps on that floor has gotta compete.”
That’s what Nick Nurse said after the Raptors treated an important matchup vs the Wizards like the dog days of January. Toronto is still ahead of Washington for ninth in the East by the slimmest of margins (both teams are two games under .500), but effort shouldn’t be questioned in the middle of a playoff race with only 18 games to go. The Raptors had a chance to get back to .500, something that hasn’t been seen since December 9th. Instead, Toronto lost in Washington for the first time in five years.
Kyle Kuzma quickly started the game on a personal 10-0 run. The Raptors were caught numerous times jogging back in transition as Washington scored, or easily allowing straight line drives to the rim. Here are a few examples:
Washington shot 51 percent from the field and 46 from three despite Bradley Beal going 5-14. Kuzma had 30 points and Kristaps Porzingis added 25.
Both Jakob Poeltl and Chris Boucher were asked about the defence postgame.
Will Barton faced his former team, but it was far from a revenge game. Barton is still looking for his first Raptors basket after going 0-2 in seven minutes. Fred VanVleet has high assist numbers lately, but is 9-40 from the field in his last three games.
A Shaqtin Candidate
This sequence near the end of the third quarter was…something. Woof.
A Positive Note
O.G. Anunoby is finding his offensive rhythm after struggling for the first few games post injury. He had a team high 26 points, including making four threes.
Up Next: Same team, same place on Saturday. The Raptors will try to avoid being swept in a two game set like they were in Orlando earlier this season.
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