By: Josh Weinstein
No John Wall? No problem.
With the Washington Wizards’ star point guard out of the lineup battling shoulder soreness, Bradley Beal put the team’s offence on his back. Beal led all scorers with 38 points, helping the Wizards edge the Toronto Raptors 107-96 on Sunday at Air Canada Centre.
The Wizards came out of the gates executing all facets of their game, finishing the first quarter with a lopsided 32-17 lead. The Raps tried their best throughout the game to trim the deficit, eventually pulling to within three points in the fourth quarter to make the score 90-87. That would be as close as Toronto got, though, as Washington pulled away shortly after and rebuilt its double-digit advantage. The Raptors did not lead at any point in the game.
In our Wizards/Raptors game preview, the idea of Kyle Lowry making headlines with another strong offensive showing was thrown around. It seemed plausible, considering how he performed in Utah two days prior. Well, Lowry ended up making headlines for an entirely different reason, as he was ejected in the second quarter following back-to-back technical fouls. Lowry’s absence certainly didn’t help the Raps chances, although Delon Wright and Fred VanVleet did fill in admirably for the remainder of the game. Both guards finished in double-figures and shot the ball efficiently.
Speaking of reserves filling in admirably for the starters, on this night the Raptors bench unit put on a much stronger showing than the team’s starters. The Raps starting five shot a combined 40 percent, while the reserves combined to shoot 17 for 30. When you consider that field goal efficiency includes C.J. Miles and OG Anunoby’s off-shooting nights (the duo combined to shoot 0 for 7 on FGs), it helps put in perspective how superb an outing the bench had.
News & Notes
- Despite the losing effort, Norman Powell deserves a shout out for his exceptional game. Powell had 19 points on 54 percent shooting to go along with two steals and two blocks.
- The Raptors’ struggles from three-point range continued. They shot an abysmal 5 of 24 on threes (21 percent). Raptors fans’ best bet right now is to hope the team’s long-range shooting woes are temporary. Unfortunately, the team hasn’t given them reason to believe that at this point.
- Up next: Bulls (2-6) @ Raptors (5-4), Tuesday, November 7. 7:30 PM ET