4/3/2013 - Air Canada Center, Toronto, ON
ESPN Boxscore - NBA.com Game Highlights
Call it fatigue in the second game of a back-to-back. Or late-season apathy. Or just your opponent getting the best of you.
Whatever you do, don’t call it winning basketball.
Despite throttling Toronto at home this past Sunday, the Wizards put forth yet another poor road performance, losing 88-78.
Inefficiency was the key word of the night. The Wizards shot a dismal 33% from the floor and 26% from three point range. After a nice second quarter run during which their lead grew to 14 points, the Wizards sputtered the rest of the way, plagued by cheap fouls and turnovers.
For a team spurred by recent home victories (and a moral impetus to grab the 9th spot), you have to wonder what kind of motivation it needs to have a modicum of success away from D.C.
Tonight’s Wizards MVP was John Wall. While Wall struggled a bit with his jumper (5-for-17 from the floor), he capitalized on his success beating Toronto’s guards off the dribble. Wall was a perfect 10 for 10 from the free throw line, and added five rebounds and five assists.
John Wall: John Wall made his best effort to keep his middling offensive team afloat, as he contributed half his points at the stripe. It was encouraging to see Wall go from being overconfident in his jumper to cutting to the basket when it wasn’t falling.
Wall also committed only 2 turnovers on the night.
Kyle Lowry: Kyle Lowry registered a very quiet offensive performance (9 points on 2-for-8 shooting), but more than compensated for it with his ball distribution. He tallied 14 assists, equaling the total for the entire Wizards roster, as he found Raptors wing players (most notably Demar DeRozan) in key spots.
Lowry also beefed up his line with 8 rebounds.
Emeka Okafor and Nene both had solid offensive games. The two players combined for 29 points (nearly 50% shooting) and 13 rebounds.
While their defensive efforts on Jonas Valanciunas left something to be desired, both Okafor and Nene used a decent mix of post moves and jumpers just outside the paint to be effective.
It was good to see Cartier Martin knock down some three-pointers, too. His two long distance makes were part of a huge second quarter run that gave the Wizards their largest lead of the game
Foul trouble plagued the Wizards throughout the game, but most notably in the second half. With nearly 7 minutes remaining in the third quarter, Washington committed a foul that would place Toronto in the bonus. What followed was a period in which the Raptors shot 18 free throws.
The Wizards also committed 14 turnovers – mostly miscommunications on passes or failed drives to the basket.
Washington’s shooting tonight was putrid. On nights like this when your shooters are off, it’s helpful to have players who can slash or work well in isolation plays. Martell Webster, Washington’s best shooter, was 1-8 from the floor, and the bench combined to shoot 7-25.