Sports

Road-warrior Raptors win fifth straight by outclassing Wizards

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The red-hot Raptors saved rolling in Washington on Wednesday evening, sustaining a stage of play that has seen the group win 5 video games in a row.

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This drive for 5 has been manufactured with out Pascal Siakam, whose return following shoulder surgical procedure will solely add to a roster that continues to punch above its weight.

Fred VanVleet and OG Anunoby have crammed the void in Siakam’s absence with brilliance, the 2 matching 30-point nights with VanVleet main the way in which in Toronto’s 109-100 win over the host Wizards.

They play onerous, unselfish and are in a position to make sufficient photographs when photographs are wanted.

Above all else, these Raptors defend and have a outstanding potential to reply when opponents are forging the anticipated runs.

Once they play properly, the Raptors are able to manufacturing double-digits leads.

When their play slips, the Raptors are able to blowing leads.

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They almost blew it to the Wizards, however made key stops down the stretch and made the fitting play on offence.

Anunoby was spectacular in Gotham, VanVleet simply as deadly in Washington by pouring in a season-high 33 factors.

When Siakam will get clearance, Toronto could have three stable choices.

Siakam additionally offers the Raptors with an additional ball-handler and defender.

Toss in rookie Scottie Barnes, who missed his second straight recreation due to a sore proper thumb, and you’ve got the makings of a fairly good Raptors group, which not many may have predicted a number of weeks in the past.

By all metrics, the Raptors have been a revelation having began the season by profitable their first 4 highway video games, a primary for the franchise.

“We did what we stated by preserving them in entrance, we helped higher and we contested higher,’’ stated head coach Nick Nurse following his group’s win.

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The Raptors pressured Washington to overlook 25 photographs from past the arc.

Equally essential was the minus-2 in paint factors that emerged, which speaks to how the Raptors defended in stopping straight-line drives by the Wizards, who’ve their share of shot makers.

Up by 14 and turning the Wizards over with relative ease, the Raptors had been at their greatest within the second quarter.

The important thing was Toronto’s defence, which led to run-outs and straightforward baskets.

Washington didn’t make a three-pointer within the interval.

The Raptors additionally did a stable job of shifting the basketball.

4 gamers reached double figures in scoring with eight draining a minimum of one shot within the recreation’s opening 24 minutes..

Toronto prolonged its result in 16 factors early within the third quarter throughout a stretch that noticed VanVleet rating seven straight factors.

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The Raptors would take an 86-77 lead into the fourth quarter.

When the groups final attached in Toronto’s residence opener, Washington spoiled the event in a 98-83 win, a scoreline that flattered the house facet.

The Raptors made solely seven three-pointers and shot a depressing 31% from the sector.

Toronto has come a really great distance.

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PRECIOUS MOMENT

Treasured Achiuwa’s current struggles from the sector have been properly documented, going a mixed 3-for-19 from the sector in two video games heading into Washington

Achiuwa was featured on Toronto’s first offensive set towards the Wizards in a two-man recreation with VanVleet.

Achiuwa made a robust roll to the rim and simply transformed on a lob move for a straightforward bucket.

When he bought fouled, Achiuwa transformed on each of his freebies.

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His begin to the evening additionally included three rebounds in 5 minutes because the Raptors jumped out to a 13-7 lead.

Achiuwa’s offence then regressed.

It started when Achiuwa picked up his dribble deep within the paint and heaved a wild shot over two defenders.

The opening interval ended with Khem Birch on the ground.

Birch began the second half.

Achiuwa bought one other shot to be a presence when Birch picked up his fourth foul 5 minutes into the second half.

Achiuwa ended the evening with a team-high 10 rebounds.

OG, OH MY

Washington was properly conscious of Anunoby’s career-high evening at Madison Sq. Backyard when he poured in 36 factors.

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Kyle Kuzma started the evening by defending Anunoby, who not surprisingly drew an additional defender on the catch.

Kuzma left within the second half with a forearm contusion after lacking all 5 of his three-point photographs and going a mixed 1-for-10 from the sector.

Washington was higher with out him.

On a facet decide and roll, Anunoby took it robust to the rim, drew a defender and arrange Svi Mykhailiuk, who bought fouled after which transformed from the road.

Anunoby made his first shot late within the first quarter, a three-pointer that will tie the sport.

He started the night by lacking his first 4 makes an attempt.

Anunoby completed with 21 factors, however he solely recorded one help.

WHAT’S THE POINT?

The Goran Dragic watch continues because the reluctant Raptor rides the pine.

He entered the evening with the dreaded CD DNP hooked up to his stat line for 4 straight video games.

He by no means bought off the bench within the opening half.

He ended the evening with out enjoying a single minute for the fifth recreation in a row.

The Raptors have gained all 5 video games with Dragic nailed to the bench.

The rumours of Dragic becoming a member of fellow Slovenian Luka Doncic in Dallas haven’t subsided.

fzicarelli@postmedia.com

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