DeRozan leads Raptors past Wizards
Feb. 12, 2015
TORONTO (AP) — Raptors guard DeMar DeRozan only hit one shot in the fourth quarter Wednesday night.
It turns out, one was enough.
DeRozan hit a tiebreaking jump shot with 12 seconds left and Toronto headed into the All-Star break on a winning note, beating the Wizards 95-93.
DeRozan was nearly stripped by John Wall on the decisive play but held on to hit the winner over the outstretched arm of Paul Pierce.
"As long as I knew I could get a shot off, I knew it had a chance of going in," DeRozan said.
Getting the best of Pierce, whose block on Lowry in the dying seconds of Game 7 of last year's first round ended Toronto's season, was particularly sweet.
"I'll put that one in the archives and look back at it a long time from now," DeRozan said.
Lou Williams scored 27 points, DeRozan had 23 and Kyle Lowry 13 for the Raptors, who have won seven of the past eight meetings with the Wizards, including all three this season.
Greivis Vasquez scored 11 points for the Raptors, who won their third straight and fourth of six. Toronto, which leads the Atlantic Division, improved to 21-9 at home and heads into the break at 36-17, second to Atlanta in the Eastern Conference. It's Toronto's best record at All-Star weekend in the team's 20-year history.
"It's good, it's big for us," Lowry said. "We've just got to go out there and keep continuing to get better."
Despite Toronto's strong record so far, coach Dwane Casey is also preaching improvement.
"There were stretches tonight where you'd think we'd already left for vacation," Casey said. "We've got to get better in a lot of areas."
Wall scored 21 points, Drew Gooden had 10 points and 12 rebounds and Pierce scored 17 for the Wizards, whose two-game winning streak was snapped. The loss was Washington's sixth in the past eight games.
"They fought down the stretch and made one more play than we did," Wizards coach Randy Wittman said.
Amir Johnson blocked Wall's attempted layup with 8 seconds left but the ball went out of bounds, giving the Wizards one final chance. Wall took the inbounds pass and tried to hit a game-winning 3, but his shot bounced off the back rim.
Wizards guard Bradley Beal sat out because of a mild stress reaction in his lower right leg. Beal missed the previous two games with a sore right big toe before tests revealed the stress injury. He'll be re-evaluated after the All-Star break.
Williams banked in a driving shot at 5:18, bringing Toronto to 87-86. After a missed shot by Rasual Butler, Williams followed with a 3 to give the Raptors an 89-87 edge.
After a Washington timeout, Pierce tied it with a jumper, but Williams hit another 3 and Johnson made one free throw to give the Raptors a 93-89 lead at 3:13.
Wall scored eight points in the first period, but Williams replied with eight for the Raptors, including a jumper with 6 seconds left that put Toronto up 27-25 after one.
Toronto started the second period with three straight 3-pointers, two by Williams and one by Vasquez. It then went 6:48 without hitting another field goal. DeRozan finally snapped the drought with a layup, part of an 8-2 Raptors run. DeRozan and Williams each scored six points in the period and Toronto led 49-47 at halftime.
Washington used a 10-0 run, including eight straight points by Pierce, and an alley-oop from Wall to Otto Porter, to go up 73-63 at 3:17 of the third. Vasquez and Williams each scored five points as the Raptors ended the quarter with a 12-3 spurt, cutting the deficit to one.
"We just have to do a better job of closing out quarters," Wall said.
SHINE AT THE LINE
DeRozan went 10 for 10 at the free throw line, the fifth game this season he's made at least 10 and the third straight. DeRozan is 32 for 35 at the line in the past three games.
Wizards: F Kris Humphries (back) was not available. He suffered the injury in Monday's win over Orlando. ... The Wizards outrebounded the Raptors 50-37.
Raptors: Toronto plays nine of 11 on the road following the All-Star break, starting with a stretch of four in five nights. ... The Raptors went 7 for 14 from 3-point range in the second half.
Wizards: host Cleveland on Feb. 20.
Raptors: at Atlanta on Feb. 20.