Wiz start slow, but turn up intensity in 2nd half to beat Bulls
Wizards vs. Raptors
at Air Canada Centre
TV: CSN, 7 p.m. ET
Season series: Wizards lead 2-1.
Last meeting: The Wizards won 109-92 on March 31 at Verizon Center. SG Bradley Beal returned after missing 11 of 13 games with a left ankle sprain to score a game-high 24 points, including three in a row in the third quarter to help the Wizards pull away.
Previous game: The Wizards beat the Chicago Bulls 90-86 on Tuesday, improving to 28-46. The Raptors lost to the Detroit Pistons 108-98 on Monday, falling to 27-47.
Projected starting lineups: Wizards -– PG John Wall, SG Garrett Temple, SF Martell Webster, PF Nene, C Emeka Okafor. Raptors –- PG Kyle Lowry, SG DeMar DeRozan, SF Rudy Gay, PF Amir Johnson, C Valanciunas
Pivotal matchup: Webster vs. Gay. Sixth man SF Trevor Ariza will get duty covering him too, but Gay has had consecutive bad games against Washington and is due for a good game. He's coming off a season-high 34 points. In his last two games vs. Washington, both losses, Gay is 5-for-21 shooting.
Trending upward: In this two-game winning streak, the Wizards are averaging 9.5 turnovers per. Even better, Wall has a total of two giveaways. ... A.J. Price, Wall's backup, is finally starting to rebound from a groin strain with 5-for-7 shooting in the win vs. Chicago. ... They held Chicago to a season-low two fast-break points. ... Wall got to the free throw line 13 times.
Trending downward: Beal re-injured his sprained left ankle and MRIs Wednesday revealed a stress injury to his right fibula, ending his season.... Nene (sore right knee) was bothered and isn't optimistic he'll be able to contribute much in back-to-backs. ... The foul shooting is starting to slip. In the last two games, they're 36 of 54, or 66.6%.
He said it: “We are still fighting for our season. Just to know where we came from to start the season to where we are now, we have a lot of pride in ourselves. We want to close the season strong. This is the most wins I've had since I've been here." -- Wall.
Around the bend: Saturday vs. Indiana Pacers, 7 p.m. ET on CSN+; Sunday at Boston Celtics, 6 on CSN.