Wizards rally but fall to Raptors in OT

Wizards rally but fall to Raptors in OT originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington

WASHINGTON — The Washington Wizards lost for Toronto Raptors 116-109 in overtime Saturday night. Here are five takeaways from what happened…

Raptors equalized

The two-game mini-series between the Wizards and Raptors this week comes at an interesting time given how close the two teams are in the postseason race this late in the year. The way those two games unfolded was an indication of how close they were.

After the Wizards won Thursday night, the Raptors responded by beating them in overtime. The end result was that their victories canceled each other out. That means the season series will come down to their final meeting in Toronto on March 26.

Loss spoiled what was Delon Wrightthe best wizard game yet. He had a season high of 18 points, tied a career high with six steals, had seven assists, six rebounds and a block. He also forced overtime with a 3-pointer with just 29 seconds left.

With the loss, the Wizards fell to 30-33 on the season with 19 games remaining. It will be picked up on Sunday evening with Milwaukee Bucks in town for the second leg of the home match. That one was moved to accommodate compensation on Tuesday vs Pistons in Detroit.

Turns are a problem

The Raptors may be a mediocre team in the standings, but they are absolutely elite at forcing turnovers and generating points on mistakes. They are no. 1 in points after turnovers, no. 2 in turnovers forced and No. 3 in fastbreak points. Of course, ball protection and rebounding are two top priorities for the Wizards whenever they face Toronto.

Although they were aware of it, the Wizards were the biggest strength of the Raptors in this case. They had 24 turnovers, 13 of them in the first half. Toronto cashed in 34 points off turnovers for the game and won the quick battle 19-on-4. Bradley Beal and Kyle Kuzma they led with five turnovers each.

Big night of shooting

The turnovers proved to be too much for the Wizards and enough to offset an otherwise stellar offensive night. They shot 50.7% from the field, and 58.3% for threes, sinking a total of 14 threes. Usually when you shoot like that, you win the game. Needless to say, ball protection is important.

This game was a great example of why turnover makes up 25% of Dean Oliver’s “Four Factors”. If you’re not familiar, Oliver popularized the keys to basketball success that remain key to analytics in the sport. They break down as 40% shooting, 25% turnovers, 20% rebounds and 15% free throws. These percentages correspond to importance, so you can see how many turnovers are involved. Oliver is now an assistant coach for the Wizards, so he couldn’t be happier with how this game played out.

Beal v. Nurse

Beal’s turnovers were the result of the Raptors’ noisy defense, which constantly threw double teams at him, usually involving much bigger players that he had to try to shoot or pass. He had just 15 points on 5-for-14 shooting with four turnovers against the Raptors on Thursday, then finished with 21 points on 7-for-22 shooting, plus the turnovers. against Toronto on Saturday. It was below his standards as a shooter and marksman.

Raptors head coach Nick Nurse has a long history of employing a strategy based on making sure anyone but Beal beats his team. He always throws something out of the ordinary at Beal and that usually involves blitzing with double teams. Although Beal had a few too many turnovers, he also had 10 assists, as he found his teammates passing out of those double teams on several occasions.

Avdija left the game

Deni Avdija got into early foul trouble with three fouls in seven minutes, then walked out of the locker room clutching his stomach. Not long after, it was announced that he was questionable to return, not because of a basketball injury, but what the team described as gastroenteritis. That would be it for Avdia, who certainly wasn’t feeling well considering he was generally one of the team’s more durable players, which often meant playing through discomfort.

After Avdija was out, the Wizards turned to Anthony Gill to take his minutes. Gill ended up playing seven minutes, but overall it was a short rotation for the Wizards with Morris also out. Nunn also only played eight minutes. The Wizards basically played with a playoff-type rotation of seven key players with a few other guys getting minimal run. Partly it was a consequence of their injuries, but probably also a sign of the role of this match.

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