The Wizards put forth an effort that looked like they were in regular-season form for their final exhibition and it produced a 119-82 victory over the Toronto Raptors on Friday night.
Both teams finish the preseason at 4-3.
Bradley Beal (19 points, nine assists) and John Wall (15 points, 11 assists, seven rebounds) led the way for five starters in double figures. It was the first time that the Wizards had their starting five together as Otto Porter returned from a rib injury that kept him out two games.
Porter (16 points, nine rebounds), Marcin Gortat (16 points, eight rebounds) and Markieff Morris (15 points) were in perfect sync as the offense ran like a well-oiled machine. The Wizards finished the game shooting 49 of 85 from the field, or 57.6% and had 33 assists.
DeMar DeRozan (34 points) led Toronto and all scorers. No other Raptors player was in double figures after three quarters.
- Beal took advantage of the ball-watching by Kyle Lowry and Fred VanVleet in the first half. Both were so consumed with the strongside of the floor, Beal slipped into the lane for passes that led to layups (one for Gortat on the putback of a miss). With Wall in particular, he commands so much attention from defenses loading up on him, Beal can benefit more this way than relying on skip passes over the length of the defense.
- Andrew Nicholson’s first bucket was on a three-pointer as he popped to the top of the arc. He did it while playing as a spread five, a spot he’ll occupy on occasions with Ian Mahinmi out with a knee injury. He’s proving to be more versatile than expected and could be a steal for $26 million when the re-assessing the free-agent class.
- DeRozan is a master at getting whistles, even in preseason. The Raptors’ guard was on a fast break and went up on Nicholson, who held his position, and missed. DeRozan grabbed his own rebound as he was off-balance and a foul was called on Trey Burke who didn’t touch him. DeRozan fell to the floor so a whistle was automatic. That’s why he shot 11 of 12 on free throws in the first half alone.
- Back to Beal: Three of the Wizards’ four baskets to begin the third were off assists from Beal, who drew the defense, got into the lane and fed Gortat for chip shots. The third one came off an after-timeout play with Beal using his superior size to post Lowry, who required help as Beal moved the ball to Porter spotting up in the corner.
- Free agents Jarell Eddie, Sheldon McClellan, Danuel House, Johnny O’Bryant and Casper Ware didn’t play, perhaps an indication that coach Scott Brooks has seen enough to make a decision and that he’s more focused on what will be his rotations to start the season. Daniel Ochefu did enter to play the final six minutes. Marcus Thornton (three points) was the first shooter off the bench behind Beal in the first quarter. Tomas Satoransky, expected to be a third point guard and possibly could slot above Burke at some point, entered with 6:26 left in the game.
Will Likely, Maryland's star cornerback and punt returner, suffered a season-ending torn ACL in the second quarter of last week's game against Minnesota. The team announced Friday that Likely will miss the rest of the season.
The injury does not mean the end of Likely's role in Maryland football. Head Coach DJ Durkin said in a press release, "In the short time I've been here at Maryland, I understand and have a great appreciation for the significant impact Will Likely has had on our football program. He will continue to play a vital role in our program as we lean on him for his leadership and experience. I am confident Will has the work ethic, drive and focus to overcome this injury and continue his football career at the next level."
Likely is third in the country in combined kick return yards with 1197, and owns six different Maryland records. He leads the team in with three passes defended, and three pass break ups. Likely was named an FWAA First Team All-American in 2015, and First Team All-Big Ten two seasons in a row. A torn ACL means the end of the senior's career as a Terrapin.
Sophomore RaVon Davis or Freshman Elijah Daniels can be expected to fill in for Likely at corner, while sophomore D.J. Moore or senior Teldrick are projected to take over as returners.
The Terps play Michigan State on Saturday in College Park. Durkin has not yet decided the status of quarterback Perry Hills, who sat out the last game with an injured shoulder.