NBA Preview from The Sports Network|
Monday, February 25th
(All times Eastern)
Washington Wizards (17-37) at Toronto Raptors (23-33), 7 p.m.
(Sports Network) - Rudy Gay has made a lasting impression in his 10 games
played with the Toronto Raptors and aims to build on a strong performance
Monday versus the Washington Wizards in the finale of a three-game homestand.
Acquired late last month from Memphis, Gay has averages of 21.4 points, 6.8
rebounds and 2.5 assists with the Raptors and scored a season-best 32 points
in Friday's 100-98 win over the New York Knicks. Gay netted 26 points in the
second half. He also made two free throws and added a jumper to put Toronto up
93-89 late in the game.
DeMar DeRozan, who is averaging 17.9 ppg through 10 games in February, ended
with 18 points and Kyle Lowry added 15 for Toronto, which is 7-3 this month
and 6-1 in the past seven games.
"We just got aggressive," said Gay. "DeMar got it going and he helped me. We
were just playing off each other."
The Raptors are 15-14 at Air Canada Centre and this will be their last
homestand of three or more games. They earned their 23rd win of the season
versus the Knicks, matching last season's win total, and are holding opponents
to 92.9 points through 10 games this month.
After hosting the Wizards, Toronto will play five of six on the road, starting
with Wednesday's matchup at Cleveland. Raptors guard Sebastian Telfair could
make his debut Monday and was acquired from Phoenix at the trade deadline.
Raptors rookie and Slam Dunk champion Terrence Ross did not play Friday due to
a stomach illness and is questionable versus Washington.
Washington will mix in a road game during its deluge of home affairs. It is in
the midst of nine of 12 games slated for D.C., but the Wizards now get a
chance to depart the nation's capital for a short period of time.
The Wizards won the last two tests of a recent three-game homestand, including
Saturday's 105-103 edging of the Houston Rockets. Rookie Bradley Beal led the
Wizards with 21 points and made a clutch free throw in the waning seconds.
Emeka Okafor also came through from the foul line in the late stages and
posted 17 points with 11 rebounds.
Trevor Ariza scored 18 points for Washington, which has won six of eight games
and is 10-4 this season when scoring 100 points or more.
"That game took a lot out of me so I can only imagine the stress on the
players, but we pulled this one out tonight," Washington coach Randy Wittman
said. "What we have done from a defensive standpoint made it even harder to
adjust in the middle of a game."
Beal is averaging 20.2 points, 5.0 rebounds and 2.8 assists in his last five
games, while Okafor has registered averages of 15.6 points and 10.4 rebounds
over that same span.
Washington is a dismal 4-22 away from home and 1-15 on the road against
opponents from the Eastern Conference. It will return to the Verizon Center
for a three-game homestand, beginning with Wednesday's tilt with Detroit.
The Wizards were recently dealt a 96-88 home loss to the Raptors on Feb. 19
and have lost four of the previous six contests in this series. Washington is
winless in its last five trips north of the border.
These two teams will meet again on March 31 in Washington and April 3 at
02/25 10:36:19 ET