=== Atlantic-leading Raptors head to Washington ===
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Toronto Raptors will continue their march to the
Atlantic Division title on Tuesday night when they visit the Verizon Center to
face the Washington Wizards.
The Raptors won two straight before the All-Star break and lead the Atlantic
Division by 3 1/2 games over the Brooklyn Nets. Toronto is third in the
Eastern Conference behind only the Indiana Pacers and Miami Heat.
The Raptors bested the New Orleans Pelicans and Atlanta Hawks before the
break. They have lost two straight on the road, but play three consecutive
games at the Air Canada Centre after Tuesday.
DeMar DeRozan scored 31 points to lead the Raps to a 104-83 victory Wednesday
over the Hawks. Four other Toronto players scored in double figures as the
Raptors committed only eight turnovers.
DeRozan continued his fine season down in New Orleans where he scored eight
points in his first All-Star game appearance.
"It was a great experience," DeRozan said after the game. "To go out there and
have fun with the league's best and be in that same category is great. It was
good to go out there and play with those guys."
The Wizards limped into the All-Star break a bit, the losers of two straight,
both on the road. Washington lost to Memphis and Houston by a combined five
points, although it has dropped four of five overall and two of three at
The Houston loss was heart-breaking. The Wizards had a two-point lead with
four seconds left, but James Harden was fouled away from the ball and made the
free-throw. Harden then split a pair of Washington defenders and made the
layup for the win.
The break came at a good time, but the Wizards stayed in the headlines thanks
to a dynamic weekend for their first-time All-Star.
John Wall started his All-Star weekend leading the Eastern Conference to the
Slam Dunk title when he leaped over the Wizards mascot. He was named the
Dunker of the Night, then scored 12 points in just over 15 minutes in the game
"I enjoyed myself," Wall said. "I think I represented myself and the Wizards
The Wizards play four of their next six on the road, where they've lost three
The Raptors won both of this season's matchups with Washington, including a
13-point victory in Washington on Jan. 3. Toronto has won three in a row in
this series and five of the last seven.
02/18 10:15:00 ET