Wall struggles in Wizards loss to Raptors

Wall struggles in Wizards loss to Raptors
February 19, 2013, 11:15 pm
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The Wizards opened up the second half of their season with the expectation of picking up where they left off; winning four of five games prior to the All-Star break. But before Tuesday’s game against Toronto the jumbotron at the Verizon Center malfunctioned and the Wizards offense broke down along with it.

The Wizards had no answer for Rudy Gay and DeMar DeRozan who combined for 48 points as Toronto walked away with a 96-88 win. Meanwhile John Wall and Nene combined for 4-of-23 shooting.

Wall had been the catalyst for the Wizards improved play but had his worse outing of the season against Toronto. He was never able to get into a groove finishing after picking up two fouls in the first quarter.  

“I think it took me out my rhythm because I had to sit for so long,” said Wall who shot 1-for-12 from the field. “I tried to come back, find my rhythm and get my teammates involved. Just had some careless turnovers and missed some easy shots.”

Washington turned the ball over 16 times (7 by Wall) and Toronto took advantage by turning that into 24 points.

As bad as the Wizards played they were within five points with five minutes remaining. Bradley Beal was the lone bright spot scoring a game high 25 points on 9-of-19 shooting. Late in the fourth quarter Beal was visibly upset with his teammates for not picking up their full court defense and at 19-years old he’s holding them accountable.

“At the end of the day I think we gave up at the end,” said Beal who was in the starting lineup for the first time after taking time off to heal a wrist injury. We just have to keep battling through the entire game because the game is never over.”

The vibe of Tuesday’s game was unusual at best. With the scoreboard malfunctioning officials scrambled to find a solution. What they came up with looked like a scene straight out of a high school gym. An old-fashioned scoreboard was placed in front of the scores table and the shot clocks were placed along the baseline.

Neither team used it as an excuse and Wizards coach Randy Wittman joked it reminded him of his playing days.

But the scoreboard wasn’t the only strange happening at Verizon Center. Jordan Crawford received his fourth straight DNP (did not play) coach’s decision and in the third quarter fans broke out into a chant of “Jordan Crawford.” Their plea for Wittman to insert Crawford in the game fell upon death ears but the Wizards coach hasn’t given up on the combo guard.

“He’s like any of our other 14 guys. He’s got to stay with it. His opportunity is going to come again.”

If there’s one thing Crawford can do its put points on the scoreboard. Before Wall returned from injury he was Washington’s leading scorer. With the trade deadline approaching on Thursday at 3pm the question remains will Crawford still be a Wizard when they take on Denver on Friday.

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