Toronto, ON (SportsNetwork.com) - Rudy Gay provided the difference in crunch
time as the Toronto Raptors fended off John Wall and the Washington Wizards,
96-88, to win back-to-back games in November for the first time since 2010.
Gay scored nine of his 17 points in the final 2:33, DeMar DeRozan netted 17
points as well and Jonas Valanciunas provided a double-double with 11 points
and 13 rebounds in the win.
The Raptors somehow lead the Atlantic Division while still being under .500 at
6-7. They will try to even their record next Tuesday when they host the Nets
in the second of a four-game homestand.
Washington had its two-game winning streak snapped despite a tremendous
showing from Wall, who was an efficient 15-of-20 from the floor for 37 points.
Bradley Beal checked in with 17 points, while Nene had 10 points and 10 boards
in the setback.
"I was able to knock down shots, but it doesn't mean anything if you don't
come away with a win," Wall said.
The Wizards brought a 70-66 lead into the fourth quarter after Wall erupted
for 18 points in the third, but Toronto opened the final stanza on a 9-0 run.
Beal quieted the rally with a deep make, but a Gay layup and 3-pointers from
Steve Novak and Terrence Ross pushed Toronto's lead to 83-73 near the midway
Six consecutive points by Wall kept the Wizards close, and a Beal three-point
play cut Washington's deficit to 87-84 with 3:23 remaining.
Gay, though, had the final say, scoring on a turnaround from the right block
and adding two free throws for some breathing room. He countered Wall's free
throw and 3-pointer with a tough pull-up jumper, then sank four free throws in
the final minute to close out the victory.
"We needed him down the stretch and he made plays for us," Raptors head coach
Dwane Casey said of Gay, who was suffering from a fever.
DeRozan and Amir Johnson combined for 21 points in the first quarter. Johnson
threw down a thunderous alley-oop dunk late in the frame, and DeRozan ended it
with a layup for a 32-27 Raptors lead.
Toronto stayed in front heading into the locker room, but Washington quickly
cut into its 51-38 halftime deficit. Wall took over in the middle portion of
the third, which included a personal 8-0 run that put the Wizards in front.
During the spurt, Wall recorded a steal and went behind his back to get past a
defender for a layup, and on the next possession converted a three-point play
to give Washington a 60-57 lead.
Toronto won consecutive games in November for the first time since a four-game
winning streak from Nov. 17-24, 2010 ... Toronto's bench outscored
Washington's 25-9 ... Johnson finished with 14 points ... The Wizards have
lost seven of eight contests north of the border.
The Sports Network