After leading by as much as 15, the Washington Wizards lost yet another road game to the Toronto Raptors. With this 88-78 loss, the Wizards are officially out of playoff contention.
Washington looked great in the first half. John Wall played good aggressive basketball, getting to the basket and knocking down several perimeter shots. Emeka Okafor and Nene both contributed in the first half, knocking down multiple shots which helped Washington gain a 15 point lead. Washington outscored the Raptors 26-16 in the second quarter, lead by their bench. Cartier Martin did a great job in filling in for Bradley Beal, knocking down several threes. Most importantly, the Wizards played great defense in the first half. But it all took a turn for the worse in the second half for Washington.
The Wizards scored 26 points in the second quarter, but only scored 28 in the second half. This was probably the most frustrating game of the season. The officials were horrible tonight, and I hate pulling the “referee card.” The Raptors took 18 free throws in the third quarter, which obviously stole all of Washington’s momentum. Jonas Valanciunas, who shot just 7 field goals, finished the game with 24 points. That’s ridiculous. Washington’s big men weren’t allowed any room to play defense by tonight’s officials. To be fair to Toronto, they did do a good job playing defense tonight. The Wizards shot just 32 percent from the floor, and the Raptors held John Wall to just 5-17 shooting. They also did a great job in closing out on Martell Webster from beyond the arc. Webster, who is Washington’s best shooter, shot just 1 for 8 from the field. John Wall, Martell Webster, and Garrett Temple combined for just 6/27 from the field. That’s terrible.
I wouldn’t put too much thought in this game. As noted, the officials were pretty bad tonight. This game was really tough to watch.
Washington will meet the playoff bound, Indiana Pacers, on Saturday night at the Verizon Center.