NBA Preview from The Sports Network
Friday, November 22nd (All times Eastern)
Washington Wizards (4-7) at Toronto Raptors (5-7), 7:30 p.m.
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Toronto Raptors lead the Atlantic Division with a 5-7 mark and look to stay on top in the standings when they open a four-game homestand Friday versus the Washington Wizards.
The Raptors ended a two-game slide with Wednesday's 108-98 victory at Philadelphia, as they sank 14-of-29 3-pointers and scored 19 points off 20 Sixers turnovers. DeMar DeRozan led the way with 33 points and Rudy Gay finished with 18 points, eight rebounds and eight assists.
Kyle Lowry contributed 13 points and 10 assists, while Terrence Ross netted 17 points off the bench. Ross, DeRozan and Lowry all made a trio of 3-pointers.
"It was a very efficient game, 10-for-19, 3-for-5 from three, but it was all started by Rudy's penetrating and kicking, Kyle's penetrating and kicking," Raptors coach Dwane Casey said of DeRozan's night.
Gay and DeRozan have combined to average 52.0 points in the last four games for the Raptors, who are also averaging 18.5 assists in the past four contests. DeRozan is averaging 27.8 ppg in his last five games.
Despite being outrebounded 50-41 by the Sixers, Toronto ranks second in the NBA in offensive rebounds (13.6) and first in second-chance points (19.1).
The Raptors are first in the Atlantic for the first time since 2007 and will also host Brooklyn, Miami and Denver.
Washington will try to extend its winning streak to a season-high three games when it visits Air Canada Centre.
The Wizards made it two wins in a row with Wednesday's 98-91 win over Kyrie Irving and the Cleveland Cavaliers. Bradley Beal scored 26 points and Nene added 24 in the win. John Wall and Martell Webster had 15 points apiece for the Wizards, who fended off a furious Cleveland rally.
Beal also chipped in a career-high tying eight assists and seven rebounds. He is averaging 22.9 points, 4.2 rebounds and 3.7 assists in the last nine games. Nene is averaging 22.7 points, 6.7 rebounds and 4.0 assists in his past three.
The Cavs had a 32-18 advantage in the fourth quarter after losing the previous three periods and almost erased a 27-point deficit.
"The easiest thing to do is relax when you're up by 27 points. They made us pay for that, but we nipped it in the bud and took care of business. This is another step for us in the maturation process," Webster said.
Webster is averaging 16.8 points and 7.5 rebounds in his last four games.
Washington and Toronto split four meetings a season ago and have split their series in each of the past three seasons. The Wizards have lost six of seven contests north of the border.
11/22 10:25:39 ET