Friday, January 13, 2012

Wizards finally break into win column, top Raptors

Washington, DC (Sports Network) - After eight games, the Wizards finally put a win together and ended the worst start in franchise history.

Washington took control in the second quarter and didn't look back, earning a 93-78 victory against the Toronto Raptors on Tuesday.

Nick Young and Rashard Lewis scored 15 points apiece for the Wizards, whose 0-8 start to the season included losses of every kind. They lost by 21 points to Milwaukee on December 30, were swept in a home-and-home by Boston, got routed in Orlando, and dropped a 99-96 decision against the Knicks last week after Carmelo Anthony hit a late three-pointer.

But the Wizards earned their first win of the season by outscoring Toronto 29-14 during the second quarter. The Raptors, coming off Monday's win against Minnesota, never got back in the game.

Andrea Bargnani scored 22 points to lead Toronto, which led 20-17 after the first quarter, when the Wizards had scoring trouble. However, Washington received a spark when Lewis converted a three-point play with 3.7 seconds to go. It brought Washington within 20-17, and the hosts moved in front when Andray Blatche and Shelvin Mack opened the second quarter with consecutive baskets.

Later in the quarter, John Wall and Lewis made back-to-back jumpers to close a seven-point run, which gave the Wizards a 28-23 edge. They continued to slowly take control, countering Toronto's runs with greater scoring bursts.

Inside of two minutes left, Washington scored six points to extend its advantage to 14. Included in the run were two alley-oop dunks by JaVale McGee, emphatic indicators of the Wizards' success near the basket and in transition during the second quarter.

They scored 24 of their 29 points in the paint and made 50 percent of their field goals -- a figure affected by the fact they attempted only one shot from beyond the arc.

Additionally, Washington scored 15 points off of nine Toronto turnovers and netted 10 fastbreak points. The Raptors' failed possessions also suppressed their point total, and the Wizards rolled into halftime with a 46-34 lead.

Washington stayed hot from the floor in the third quarter, making half its shots, to remain in front. The Wizards carried a 71-52 advantage into the final period, which they opened with eight points in a row.

The 27-point lead was far too much for Toronto to overcome, and there was no suspense as the Wizards closed out their first win of the season.

Game Notes

Leandro Barbosa provided 12 points off the Raptors' bench...Eight of the 10 Washington players who saw court time scored at least eight points. Jordan Crawford had 11 off the bench, including nine in the second quarter.

© Copyright (c) The Sports Network,Photograph by: Chuck Myers, MCT


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