Wizards fall to Raptors on road for fifth loss in six games
Wizards fall to Raptors on road originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington
The Washington Wizards lost to the Toronto Raptors 114-104 on Sunday night. Here are five takeaways from what went down...
With an opportunity to gain some ground late in the playoff race, the Wizards couldn't keep up with a Raptors team on the road, as Toronto outscored Washington 27-to-20 in the fourth quarter. That dropped the Wizards to 33-42 on the year overall, marking their fifth consecutive losing season.
The Wizards got a win on Friday night against the Spurs, but have otherwise been mired in an extended slump. They have now lost five of their last six games and eight of their last 10.
The Raptors entered the day owners of the ninth seed in the East and a spot in the play-in tournament. The Wizards, meanwhile, were 11th and just three games back. Now it's four games.
Three starters out
The Wizards played this game without Bradley Beal, Kyle Kuzma and Monte Morris, leaving them without 60% of their starting lineup. That left them significantly undermanned and especially against a team that is fairly loaded at guard and on the wing.
Beal and Kuzma remained out after missing previous games, while Morris was a late addition to the injury report due to groin soreness. With only seven games left and their playoff hopes dwindling, it would not be a surprise if the Wizards continued to play it safe with these injuries.
Lots of Davis
The Wizards had already been playing rookie Johnny Davis more lately. With both Morris and Beal out, that opened the door for even more minutes for the 10th overall pick. Davis ended up playing a career-high 30 minutes.
Davis finished with 15 points, a new career-high, and four rebounds. He shot 5-for-8 from the field and made three three-pointers. He had only made one three in his previous 20 NBA games this season. Davis has shown improvement recently in the G-League with his outside shooting, so it's a good sign he's starting to translate that to the NBA level.
The Raptors are one of the best teams in the league and generating turnovers and turning them into points. The Wizards know that very well from their previous matchups this season. Still, Toronto was able to impose its will by forcing the Wizards into 18 turnovers and converting those miscues into 25 points on the other end.
There were several plays where the Raptors found wide open space on the fastbreak off steals. Scottie Barnes threw down a 360 dunk and OG Anunoby had a double-pump reverse. The Wizards are appreciably better at protecting the ball when Morris is on the court, so him being out didn't help either.
It is looking increasingly unlikely Daniel Gafford will be able to close the deal and set the NBA's all-time record for single-season field goal percentage. That's in part because his percentage has dropped to 73.1 after he shot 3-for-9 in this game. But it's also because of a league rule that is arguably unfair.
See, Gafford at this point is very unlikely to reach the requisite 300 field goals made in order to qualify for the official season leaderboard for field goal percentage. That is despite coming into this game ranked 140th in the NBA in field goals made. He now has 255 on the year overall with seven games remaining. Why is a player who is in the top 140, i.e. the top third of all NBA players, not official in a category? Seems like 300 is a bit high for the minimum.