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Wizards vs. Raptors preview: Washington seeks pivotal win at home against Toronto

NBA: Toronto Raptors at Washington Wizards Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Game Info

When: Friday, March 3 at 7:00 pm
Where: Verizon Center in Washington D.C.
TV: CSN Mid-Atlantic
Radio: 1500 AM and Wizards Radio App

Injury Report

Wizards: None

Raptors: Kyle Lowry (Out, Wrist)

What to Watch for

Big stakes

This will be the biggest game of the season to date. If Washington wins, they’ll take a two game lead over the Raptors in the standings and clinch the tiebreaker over Toronto. If the Raptors win, they’ll pull even with the Wizards in the standings and earn the tiebreaker.

In other words, Friday’s game could go a long way in determining who finishes with a top-three seed, and who will most likely end up playing Cleveland in the Eastern Conference Semifinals.

Can Washington fend off Toronto’s emotional response?

Considering what’s at stake and how Washington thoroughly dominated Toronto on Wednesday, you have to imagine the Raptors will come out extra feisty for this one. The good news for Washington is they’ll have their home crowd behind them and the Raptors still won’t have Lowry.

It’s a shame that the Raptors won’t have their All-Star point guard for 2 of the 3 meetings, which tilts the odds in Washington’s favor to win the game and the season series. But at the same time, it puts extra pressure on Washington to make sure they don’t let a great opportunity pass them by while Toronto is weakened.

Will Bradley Beal and Otto Porter get back on track

One of the more remarkable parts of Washington’s win over Toronto on Wednesday is that they did it without much help from Beal and Porter. Otto was held scoreless in 19 minutes of action, and Beal was 1-6 from deep despite having several open looks.

If the bench doesn’t go on another game-changing run in this one, they’ll need both players to have much better games if the Wizards are going to

Brandon Jennings’ first appearance as a Wizard

You almost forgot about that, didn’t you?

It will be interesting to see if Scott Brooks throws Jennings into the fire right away or if he tries to go back to the same bench unit that worked so well on Wednesday. If Brooks does try to play it safe with Satoransky, don’t be surprised if Jennings gets a lot of burn on Sunday with the Magic in town.

Most Likely Wizards Killer: Norman Powell

NBA: Toronto Raptors at New York Knicks Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports

Powell struggled a lot in the first half of Wednesday’s game against the Wizards’ all-bench unit, but he played much, much better during his other stint in the game. In the fourth quarter, Powell had 16 points, 2 rebounds, and 2 assists to help the Raptors make the game respectable in the closing minutes. Washington needs to make sure that success doesn’t carry over into Friday’s game.