The Washington Wizards lost again, this time to the Toronto Raptors, 103-101 on Monday night.
Gary Trent Jr. made a three pointer at the buzzer to give the Raptors a victory at the last possible moment. Wizards guard Raul Neto had to be restrained by teammates because he claimed being pushed off.
In late situations like these, I’m not mad at all, especially since Wizards fans, myself included, would like to see Gonzaga guard Jalen Suggs in Monumental Red this fall, if he decides to go pro. A loss is a real win at this point. Washington screwed their playoff hopes with a pathetic performance after the All-Star break of five straight losses.
I guess I’m obligated to say how the rest of this game went, so here’s a quick recap.
The first half of this game went about as well as Wizards fans could have hoped. Washington outscored Toronto 61-51, Russell Westbrook had a near-triple double (10 points, 10 rebounds and NINE assists in the first half) and shot 9-of-18 from the three-point line. Seven of those threes came from Garrison Mathews and Davis Bertans.
In the third quarter, the Wizards were able to get their lead up to 19 points early on. It seemed like Washington was somehow going to pull it off, keeping some fans like site manager Jake Whitacre happy like it was 2015.
Raptors fans are probably laughing at how Washington handles six inches of snow, but Wizards fans laugh at how Toronto handled Paul Pierce in the 2015 playoffs.— Jake Whitacre (@jakewhitacre) January 13, 2019
Alright, that was an old tweet. But like Jake said back in the day (and from time to time), the Wizards did beat the Raptors 4-0 in the playoffs back in 2015.
But I digress.
The Raptors have moved on from their 2015 playoff series loss (and Jake’s taunts). They made a furious comeback in the fourth quarter to take a six point lead at one point after Washington got cold. Bertans and Mathews in particular weren’t shooting at all in the fourth quarter when things were getting tough.
And while Russell Westbrook was able to make a late shot to get the Wizards ahead 101-99 with seconds left, Trent’s last shot made me act like Steve Buckhantz when a buzzer-beater goes the wrong way.
Westbrook had another triple double with 23 points, 14 rebounds and 11 assists for the Wizards while Davis Bertans added 17 more points. Deni Avdija had 12 points and 10 rebounds and was a brighter spot despite Washington’s coaching staff mis-utiliizing him all season long.
As for the Raptors, Kyle Lowry wasn’t there and neither was Fred VanVleet, something which makes Trent’s buzzer beater and 16 point performance that much more notable and #SoWizards. Pascal Siakam led their scorers with 22 points.
The Wizards’ next road game is on Wednesday when they face off against the Orlando Magic. Tip-off is at 7 p.m. ET.
Until then, enjoy the NCAA Division I men’s basketball championship game. Here are my closing comments, which I think are optimistic, if anythingL
- Please #SaveTheWizards Jalen Suggs! Or Davion Mitchell! Or Corey Kispert! We will root for you to perform well as I type this!
- #FIRESCOTTBROOKS yesterday! We can’t see someone like Suggs or Mitchell especially get misutilized should Beal AND Westbrook remain in D.C. next season.
- Let’s hope Washington can find the Wizards version of Mike Thibault from a coaching AND GM’ing perspective. If the Mystics can do a 180 to turn from WNBA laughing stocks to champs, the Wizards can do the same with the NBA. Ted Leonsis has done it once before with a basketball team, and he can do it again. Keep the faith.
Have a good night and enjoy the Division I men’s basketball championship game which I think many of you are watching already.