By: Josh Weinstein
DeMar DeRozan’s 33 points, eight rebounds, and six assists helped the Toronto Raptors (11-5) enact revenge on the Washington Wizards (9-7) with a 100-91 win at Air Canada Centre. Toronto improved to a perfect 4-0 in games DeRozan scores 30 or more points, and also extended its winning streak to four games.
With John Wall sitting out for the second time this season against the Raptors, Bradley Beal put on a shooting clinic in the first half, finishing with 23 points on 60 percent shooting. Considering Beal had a game-high 38 points the last time these two teams met on November 5, it wasn’t unrealistic to think he’d reach or surpass that point total this afternoon.
Well, any hopes of Beal reaching the 40-point plateau for the second time this season were quickly put to rest in the second half. Toronto’s defence limited the shooting guard to just four points in the second half, which ultimately neutralized most of the Wizards offence that was relying on him to produce and create for others, especially with Wall out.
Kyle Lowry’s shooting stroke cooled off a bit in the win, but he was still able to be effective in other facets of the game. Not only did he get others involved, but he didn’t try to force too much offensively. Instead, he recognized DeRozan was on his A-game and adjusted accordingly by trying to get him the ball early and often.
Pascal Siakam deserves a shoutout, too. He led the Raptors in plus/minus at +18 and used his speed to get back on defence and swat a couple shot attempts well out of harm’s way. Even after being removed from the starting five because of Serge Ibaka’s return, Siakam remained poised and put in solid a effort across 31 minutes.
It appears Lucas Nogueira’s minutes aren’t gone after all. Nogueira played 14 minutes – four more than Jakob Poeltl – and was the first big off the bench. With head coach Dwane Casey continuing to roll with an 11-man rotation, constantly fluctuating minutes shouldn’t really surprise us any longer.
The Raptors next play on Wednesday, November 22, when they'll look to improve to 2-0 against the New York Knicks.