The Washington Wizards may have had a poor preseason. But there was no sign of it on Wednesday night as they defeated the Toronto Raptors, 98-83 on the road.
This was a special game for the Raptors, given that it was their first regular season game in their hometown since the start of the coronavirus pandemic in March 2020. Unfortunately for the fans, but fortunately for the Wizards, this game was not the start the Raptors were looking for.
But for the Wizards, this was a special game of their own, since it was the official head coaching debut of Wes Unseld, Jr., not only in his capacity for Washington, but in general.
Washington took advantage of a big run in the second quarter to take a commanding 57-37 lead at halftime. The Wizards didn’t get there by shooting lights out from three. Rather, they were making the right passes at the right time with Montrezl Harrell finishing when needed.
And here’s another one by Harrell.
Unselfish.— Washington Wizards (@WashWizards) October 21, 2021
Ya love to see it. pic.twitter.com/daHW9w49ie
Harrell scored 22 points off the bench, seemingly dunking every time he could as the Wizards were able to extend their lead up to as many as 29 points at various points in the third quarter, finishing the period with a 81-59 lead, holding Toronto to just 29.2 percent shooting to that point.
While this was a big win, the Raptors did make their inevitable run in the fourth quarter to drop the deficit down to 10 points. But thankfully, the Wizards were able to answer with a late run of their own to get the much-needed win. And as for the Raptors’ shooting at the end of the day? It was only 30.9 percent once the final buzzer sounded.
In addition to Harrell, Bradley Beal scored 23 points to lead Washington, while Kyle Kuzma scored 11 points and grabbed 15 rebounds, . Fred VanVleet and Scottie Barnes co-led the Raptors with 12 points each.
The Wizards will head home for their next game when they host the Indiana Pacers on Friday, Oct. 22 at 7 p.m. ET.