The Washington Wizards hosted the red-hot Toronto Raptors Wednesday night at Capital One Arena, with the visitors looking for their fifth consecutive win. Questionable officiating hampered Washington’s chances, but awful shooting from behind the arc — the Wizards were 8-for-32 from deep — led to a 109–100 Raptors win.
After starting the game 1-for-6 from the field, it was Wizards’ center Daniel Gafford who got things going. After not getting a foul call, Washington's big man raced down the court and stole the ball from behind, which led to a Kentavious Caldwell-Pope two. Spencer Dinwiddie (12 points, three assists) then knocked down a three to knot the game at seven, but Toronto drained back-to-back threes for a six-point advantage.
The home team took its first lead at 4:01 of the first after a Deni Avidja offensive rebound ended with a Bradley Beal deep ball. The Wizards put a slow offensive start behind them to end the quarter, shooting 46% from the field.
After making just one of their first five attempts of the second and being outscored by the Raptors, eight to three, Washington Head Coach Wes Unseld Jr. called a timeout with his team down five. A 12-2 Toronto run then gave the away side a 14-point lead. Nine second-half points for Raptors’ guard Fred VanVleet helped his side to a 59–49 lead at the half.
VanVleet, who had a game-high 33 points and six helpers, logged Toronto’s first seven points of the quarter. It wasn’t until 4:30 when Beal, who had a team-high 25 points, seven rebounds and seven assists, finally had a teammate break into double-digit scoring. Avdija’s three, which gave him 10 of his 11 points of the evening, was the Wizards’ first deep look since there were 10 seconds left in the first.
A 15–4 Washington run capped by a Raul Neto three forced Toronto Coach Nick Nurse to ask for a pause to stop the bleeding. Neto contributed 14 points off the bench.
However, in the final 3:25 of the third, the Wizards scored just four points as the Raptors’ lead grew to nine. To make matters worse, Washington forward Kyle Kuzma left in the third with a forearm contusion and was ruled out for the remainder of the match.
The start of the fourth saw what should have been a Toronto goaltending, a Washington technical and a soft offensive foul that went the way of the visitors. Had the goaltending been called, the lead would have been cut to five. Instead, it turned into a 12–0 Toronto run.
Despite outscoring the Raptors in bench points, 34–19, The Wizards, attempting to go 4–0 at home to start a season for the first time since 2014/15, fell to 5–3 on the year. Toronto, on the other hand, won its fifth consecutive game to improve to 6–3.
OG Anunoby put up 21 points for the visitors, while Montrezl Harrell chipped in 15 points and 10 rebounds for the hosts.
Something to note moving forward: Washington is 5–0 when leading after three but 0–3 when trailing after three.