Taking over with Kawhi Leonard getting a night off, Kyle Lowry delivered 28 points and 12 assists Saturday night to help the Toronto Raptors improve to 3-0 with a 117-113 victory over the Washington Wizards.
The Raptors rested Leonard on the second half of a back-to-back and third game in four days to open the season.
Washington finished the game without ejected coach Scott Brooks. Bradley Beal scored 32 points, going 6 for 11 on 3s, and John Wall added 25 points and six assists for the Wizards, who are 0-2, with both games at home.
Beal broke Washington’s franchise record for most 3-pointers in a career, surpassing Gilbert Arenas’ previous mark of 868 by making his 869th with a little more than 4½ minutes left in the game. Less than a minute later, he made another 3, cutting Washington’s deficit to 106-101, then skipping down the court.
Moments after that, Beal was called for charging, and at the other end, Lowry sank a 3-pointer while falling into the lap of a front-row spectator. That put Toronto back ahead 109-101 with 3 minutes remaining.
Two more baskets by Lowry followed, and Fred VanVleet added a jumper that made it 115-11 with 14.6 seconds to go.
Brooks was sent to the locker room after a contentious sequence with about seven minutes to go.
Moments after Beal argued a call while on defense, he got incensed when he thought Toronto should have been whistled for a foul when Wall tumbled to the court on a drive to the basket. There was no call, though — except a technical foul on Beal.
Then Wall and Brooks got into it with the officials, resulting in Brooks’ ejection. Lowry made two free throws to boost the Raptors’ edge to 102-89.
This was a rematch from the opening round of the Eastern Conference playoffs last season, when the Raptors were seeded No. 1 and eliminated the No. 8 Wizards in six games.
While Washington largely relies on the same core of players, it so far has not been able to suit up its most significant offseason acquisition, center Dwight Howard, who missed all of training camp and the preseason and has sat out the team’s first two games with a sore backside. Ian Mahinmi started at center and did not exactly distinguish himself, shooting 0 for 3 and accumulating more personal fouls (four) than points (two).
The Raptors, meanwhile, were without Leonard, who helped Toronto start 2-0 by averaging 27.5 points and 11 rebounds in his first two games with the club after arriving in a trade with the San Antonio Spurs. But he only played in nine games for San Antonio in 2017-18, missing most because of a quadriceps injury, and so coach Nick Nurse said it was best for his team’s top player to rest during Toronto’s third contest in four nights to open this season.
OG Anunoby started in place of Leonard and contributed 12 points — all in the first half.
Raptors: Never trailed by more than five points. … Now 15-4 against the Wizards over the last five years. … Toronto has six pairs of back-to-backs this season, one fewer than a year ago, when it went 9-5 in those games.
Wizards: After not taking a single 3-point shot in Game 1 despite being under orders to let it fly from beyond the arc this season, Otto Porter Jr. hoisted three attempts in the first four minutes Saturday. He went 0 for 3 on those, but wound up 2 for 7 on 3s. … Brooks said he didn’t speak to his team at all about having lost its playoff series against Toronto last season. “I have not mentioned it one time to the guys,” Brooks said. “What does it really mean? I don’t know.”
Raptors: Host Charlotte on Monday.
Wizards: At Portland on Monday, opening a five-game road trip against Western Conference teams.
Source: The Associated Press