Bojan Bogdanovic (27 points) and John Wall (12 points, 13 assists) helped the Washington Wizards (36-23) defeat the Toronto Raptors (36-25) 105-96 at the Air Canada Centre on Wednesday night. The Wizards were able to show the Raptors who should be in the top of the Eastern Conference. The two teams are very close in the rankings and are trading back and fourth for that third seed.
— Washington Wizards (@WashWizards) March 2, 2017
Scott Brooks and the Wizards came into Toronto with something to prove after beating the number one-ranked team in the league, the Golden State Warriors, in the nation’s capital on the previous night. Washington played this second half of the back-to-back as if they’d had a week’s rest. They came in and passed the ball, putting up 33 assists, compared to only 11 assists by the Raptors. John Wall was happy to post his 39th double double of the season. Bradley Beal put up a nice 23 points and is now the Wizards’ leading scorer at 22.6 points a game.
The two teams started off the game trading leads, ending the first quarter with a score of 24-26, the Raptors up two. After that it was all Washington: their bench went on a 26-1 run with the help of Bojan Bogdanovic, Jason Smith and Kelly Oubre Jr. They got the lead up to 23 in the second quarter. They were straight on fire, giving the starters something to cheer and waive towels about. This is rare for the Wizards bench to do, but the trade they made before the deadline helped out a lot. They sent Andrew Nicholson, Marcus Thornton, and a protected first-round pick to the Brooklyn Nets in exchange for Bogdanovic and Chris McCullough.
The Raptors were missing arguably their best player in Kyle Lowry, who is out recovering from surgery on his right wrist. Toronto will be happy to hopefully get him back before the playoffs. DeMar DeRozan led the scoring for the Raptors with 24 points. Serge Ibaka also had a nice game with 22 points and 12 rebounds. Corey Joseph, who is starting in place of Lowry, had 11 points.
The Wizards were one of the hottest teams coming into the All-Star break. Not so much after the break, however, losing to the Joel Embiid-less Philadelphia 76ers, and then dropping a game at home to the Utah Jazz. After they beat the Warriors, they seem to have found their groove again. The Wizards have a tough stretch of games coming up, so they will be looking to play the best basketball they have played all season.
John Wall with the strong block 💪🏾 pic.twitter.com/oxECO8Rbv4
— NBA Gods (@SportsLeakers) March 2, 2017
The two teams will meet each other once again tomorrow in Washington. This will be the last time the two teams meet in the regular season. With the series tied 1-1, it should be a fun game to watch.