DeRozan scores 35 as Raptors beat Wizards 97-88
WASHINGTON (AP) — Even though the Toronto Raptors have won six consecutive regular-season games against the Washington Wizards, they remember what happened last spring all too well.
Toronto lost in four straight games to Washington in the first round of the playoffs — and the Raptors can’t forget it.
DeMar DeRozan scored 21 of his season-high 35 points in the second half of the Raptors’ 97-88 victory over the Wizards 97-88 on Friday night, the kept referring to the postseason embarrassment.
“I wouldn’t necessarily say it’s a rivalry but more of, I was here during the playoffs and that was a bad feeling to get swept and coming back here just playing against them gives you that same reminder of what happened,” he said.
DeRozan and his backcourt mate, Kyle Lowry, who had 21 points and 10 assists, did most of the damage.
Lowry watched as DeRozan scored 11 in the third quarter and 10 in the fourth.
“He could go 0 for 20, but at the end of the day we’re still going to keep feeding the ball, feeding the ball, and we want him to take those shots that we know he can make,” Lowry said.
The Raptors overcame a season-high 23 turnovers, taking control with an 18-4 run that gave them a 69-59 lead with 2:40 to play in the third quarter.
John Wall scored 21 points as Washington lost for the fifth time in six games.
“The last three games, we take periods of games . and we take shortcuts. We try to take easy ways out. We don’t make hustle plays,” Wizards coach Randy Wittman said.
Raptors: F DeMarre Carroll missed his third game after right knee surgery on Wednesday. ... The Raptors are one of three teams with a record over .500 every day over the last two years. Chicago and Golden State are the others. ... F/G Terrence Ross left the game in the fourth quarter with a lower back injury. ... Toronto had a season-high 13 blocked shots.
Wizards: Wittman said that G Bradley Beal, who has missed 14 games with a right leg injury, is nearing a return. ... F Drew Gooden scored for the first time since Oct. 31. He played in his just second game since Nov. 17 because of a strained right calf. ... F Kris Humphries has a sore right knee and missed his second straight game.
TURNING THEM OVER
Toronto won despite committing 23 turnovers, its most this season.
“Coach is going to bark on it tomorrow, but it happens so we won the game, I don’t really care,” Lowry said.
DON”T FEEL SORRY
Washington F Jared Dudley says the team’s effort is there, but something is missing.
“Our team did a poor job dealing with adversity this season,” Dudley said. “I don’t think we have too many come-from-behind victories. When we get down, heads drop a little bit.”
CAUSE FOR CELEBRATION
Wittman said his team, which often has had five or six players hurt, is getting healthy.
“We had a party last night,” Wittman said. “We had 10 guys to practice. We got to go a little bit of 5-on-5. That was the first time since right around Thanksgiving we’ve been able to do that.”
Toronto coach Dwane Casey says that it’s hard to play against Wall because of his speed.
“A lot of guys are not as fast as Wall, and they try to be as fast as him, and it speeds you up,” Casey said. “You can’t duplicate that in practice. You can’t simulate that in practice.”
Raptors: Visit Philadelphia on Saturday.
Wizards: Visit Orlando on Saturday.