The Washington Wizards and the Toronto Raptors will both be gunning for a victory on 3/1/2017 at 7:35 PM when they meet in a game matchup.
Washington Wizards vs Toronto Raptors
When: 7:30 PM ET, Wednesday, March 1, 2017
Where: Air Canada Centre, Toronto, Ontario
|503||Washington Wizards||-4 (-110)||211 (-110)||155
TV: 7:35 PM
PREDICTION: TORONTO , WASHINGTON
Oddsmakers currently have the TORONTO listed as -4 point favorites versus the WASHINGTON, while the game’s total is sitting at 211.
TORONTO — The Toronto Raptors are learning how to survive, perhaps even thrive, without their injured All-Star point guard, Kyle Lowry.
Lowry had right wrist surgery Tuesday and will be out for the rest of the regular season.
The Raptors, meanwhile, will take a four-game winning streak into their meeting with the Washington Wizards at the Air Canada Centre Wednesday night.
The Wizards (35-23) scored 40 points in the first quarter and went on to defeat the Golden State Warriors 112-108 Tuesday with John Wall equaling his career high of 19 assists.
“It was obviously a hard-fought game,” Wizards coach Scott Brooks said. “Both teams were clawing, grabbing and punching each other trying to win. I’m glad we made a few more plays.”
The Raptors (36-24) have won three of the games without Lowry, who has not played since the All-Star Game.
It has helped that their other All-Star guard, DeMar DeRozan, has been on fire, with a total of 113 points over the past three games. He scored the winning basket with 1.9 seconds to play Monday in a 92-91 victory over the New York Knicks. He outscored the Knicks 12-11 down the stretch.
Another factor has been the key additions, through trades, of Serge Ibaka and P.J. Tucker. They played for the first time for the Raptors Friday against the Boston Celtics and have been instrumental in the wins for the three games in which they have played.
Their presence has taken pressure off DeRozan.
“He does have other players around him,” Raptors coach Dwane Casey said. “Serge can score, we have other options that can score. P.J. can knock down a corner three, he shouldn’t feel the pressure of having to score on every possession.”
DeRozan said he does not feel he needs to score more in the absence of Lowry. “I need to be more conscious about my ability to score; I have to be a play maker out there,” he said. “As long as I can do that, I can make the guys be better for us.”
Said Casey: “Serge and P.J. both have seen it all, done it all, they have a calming effect out there on the floor with the players. They don’t have the ball out there and (are not) running the show as the point guard but they still have a good knowledge of what’s going on in the game. It goes to their intellect, their basketball IQ is high. It’s been great to have those guys fit in seamlessly.”
Before beating the Warriors, who lost Kevin Durant to a knee injury early in the game, the Wizards had dropped their two previous games.
“We’re back,” Wizards forward Otto Porter Jr. said after the win Tuesday. “We’re back to our regular self.”
The Wizards have been one of the better teams in the NBA for the past two months, going 20-7 since Dec. 30.
“Everybody has a job, and everybody has a role,” said Bradley Beal, who scored 25 points Tuesday. “You have to bring it every night. It starts with me and John, and as long as we bring it, we know the team follows. We have to continue bringing the energy and show up every night.”
The Wizards acquired a backup point guard when they reached an agreement for the rest of the season with Brandon Jennings, who was waived by the New York Knicks Monday. The deal is pending Jennings clearing waivers.
“He just brings a lot of energy,” Wall said. “He’s a guy that can pass the ball, he brings a lot of swag and can help us.”
The Wizards also bolstered their bench at the trade deadline when they acquired guard/forward Bojan Bogdanovich from the Brooklyn Nets. He scored 16 points off the bench against the Warriors.
“It was great, man,” Beal said. “Great basketball, playoff basketball. We’ve shown so much growth from where we used to be. Even in the previous years, we probably wouldn’t have been able to close out a game like this. Now we’ve shown that we’re capable of playing and competing with anybody.”
Toronto is 21-10 at home; Washington is 10-15 on the road.
The teams meet again Friday at Washington.
“It’s all finally coming around for us,” Beal said. “We’ve just got to continue to keep the mojo going.”