That was......disappointing, to say the least. The Wizards did, in fact, lead the Raptors in the final quarter of the game, but once again couldn't score in the final minutes and allowed Toronto to escape with its third straight win against the Wizards.
Washington didn't score a point in the final 2:10, and Drew Gooden and John Wall combined to miss the last four shots of the game. Down two, Wall had a chance to either tie the game or win it on a buzzer-beat, but missed a 23-footer, sending the Wizards into the All-Star break with a 33-21 record.
Plus, Drake was there and bothered Paul Pierce on the second-to-last possession, which is never fun.
Now we have until Feb. 20 to stew on this loss, but here's what we learned and took away that we can discuss in the coming days while we wait for John Wall to take on Stephen Curry in a glorified game of H.O.R.S.E.
Drew Gooden might be an OK replacement for Kris Humphries
We're still not sure how long Humphries might be out for, but if he has to miss any more time coming out of the break, Gooden could be a serviceable replacement for him coming off the bench. Despite his late-game struggles (and the fact that he somehow stole fourth-quarter minutes away from Marcin Gortat), Gooden was a monster on the glass, grabbing 12 boards.
His shooting got hot to the point that he was doing stuff like this.
(GIF via Kyle Weidie)
He's also scored in the double digits in back-to-back games (both of them without Humphries).
No matter what way you look at it, he's still a 33-year-old power forward, but people seem to forget that Gooden was second on the team last season in player efficiency rating in 22 games.
Had his bunny gone in during the final minute, Gooden would be the hero of this game. Instead, DeMar DeRozan made a crazy shot for the Raptors, and we'll instead remember his awkward wide-open three-pointer that clanked off the rim. Such is basketball.
The Wizards are definitely going to miss Bradley Beal
This shouldn't come as a shock to anyone, but losing Beal is a serious problem for the Wizards. Against the Raptors, they didn't make a single three in the first half, and finished 5-for-21 from beyond the arc for the game.
In the final minute, it was Gooden trailing John Wall down the floor and taking the baseline, go-ahead three, not Beal. Otto Porter had a very quiet night filling in for Beal in the starting lineup, scoring just four points in 21 minutes, and Rasual Butler shot 2-of-10 for five points in 18 minutes.
At times this season Butler has been a better three-point shooter than Beal, but he's fallen off in the past few weeks, and there's frankly no replacing one of the best young shooting guards in the league.
Losing Beal for a significant amount of time after the break will likely change the way the Wizards approach the trade deadline, and will change which players they're looking to sign after the buyout deadline ends, too. Get well soon, Bao Bao.
This isn't all gloom and doom for the Wizards
Coming into this game, the general feeling was that if Washington won, they'd officially be "back" and out of their slump. While they didn't win tonight, it's certainly not a sign that things are crashing down and that panic should be setting in during the break.
The Wizards played the Raptors close for most of this game, staging multiple small comebacks, and were a crazy DeRozan shot away from at least taking this one to overtime. All of that without Beal or Humphries.
Marcin Gortat continues to play himself out of his personal slump, scoring nine points and grabbing eight rebounds, while Nene shot an amazing 7-for-8. On defense, Lou Williams and DeRozan both had huge nights, but Kyle Lowry was held in check for most of the night by Wall and the frontcourt did an excellent job of protecting the rim.
Frankly, this game came down to the fact that the Wizards failed to score in the final two minutes, that they turned it over 16 times and that their perimeter shooters just weren't knocking them down tonight. That doesn't mean they're still in some sort of a slump, or that their past two wins against the Nets and Magic meant nothing.
There's a lot this team has to work on during the break, but fans should still feel confident in the team's defense. Getting healthy would be nice, too.