After Beal was limited to just two points in the first half, he made up for lost time by hitting three 3-pointers in the first three minutes of the third quarter to tie a game in which the Wizards had been down by 8 to start the half.
His quick scoring burst opened things up for the rest of the Wizards’ offense and led to efficient opportunities the rest of the way as they went toe-to-toe with one of the best teams in the East. In the end, eight different Wizards scored in double-digits, including Ian Mahinmi, Mike Scott, and Jodie Meeks, who all had splendid games against the Raptors’ heralded bench.
Kyle Lowry made some spectacular plays on both ends to keep Toronto in the game late, but in the end, Washington’s balanced attack was just too much to overcome. Beal, Otto Porter, Markieff Morris, Marcin Gortat, and Tomas Satoransky all scored in the final five minutes to hold off the Raptors’ charge as they pick up their second win over Toronto this season without John Wall.
Oh boy, here comes the narrative
After a win over a good team like the Raptors, there will be plenty of people questioning if the Wizards are playing better because John Wall is out of the lineup. The ball movement looks great, they haven’t played down to their opposition, and they’re getting good contributions from just about everyone.
It’s important to remember this happens a lot in the NBA. Whenever a star goes down, everyone gets asked to do more to fill in, and in the first week or so, that jolt can catch other teams off guard who are just going through the motions. So while this has been great to see, it shouldn’t come as a much of a surprise.
The real test starts on Saturday when they take on the Magic in Orlando. If they can keep playing at this high level against a clearly inferior opponent and then carry it over as the schedule ramps back up next week, then maybe there’s something to all this. Even then, it speaks to how important it is to get John Wall healthy so he can get back to being the crucial part of the team he is, rather than a guy trying to grind it out when he clearly isn’t himself.
Tomas Satoransky is always fun
Sadly, Satoransky was not invited to the dunk contest, but stuff like this will always be fun:
- Scott Brooks picked up a tech for arguing a call while heading to the locker room at halftime. Call it silly if you want, but it’s hard to argue with the results in the second half.
- Jodie Meeks made two 3-pointers in a game for the second time in less than a week. Perhaps playing more with Tim Frazier, who he played with a bit at the start of the season when he was at his best, will continue to do him some good.
- The Wizards didn’t just have a balanced scoring attack, they had a balanced passing attack as well. Eight different Wizards had at least two assists and four had at least four in the game, including Beal and Porter who had six each.
Next up: The Wizards travel to Orlando to face the Magic on Saturday at 7 p.m.