Raptors need double overtime to escape Washington with a win
Wizards guard Bradley Beal battles the Raptors’ Kyle Lowry for the ball during Sunday’s double-overtime thriller in Washington. The Raptors won their fifth straight game, but only after letting a 23-point lead slip away.
It has been a wild week for Toronto Raptors forward Serge Ibaka.
The veteran big man won a game at home with an emphatic dunk in the dying seconds of the fourth quarter on Tuesday night against Atlanta, then provided a game-winning three-pointer at the end of double overtime in Washington on Sunday afternoon.
In a wild game that saw Toronto blow a 23-point lead and miss chances to win at the end of the fourth quarter and the first overtime, Ibaka calmly faked a Wizards defender and drilled an open three with 15.2 seconds that lifted the Raptors to their fifth straight win.
The Raptors almost blew the game with some shoddy offensive play in the second half, and the 21 turnovers they committed were a testimony to their uneven play all afternoon.
But 41 points from Kawhi Leonard — including 11 in row bridging the end of the fourth quarter and the entire first overtime period — and 24 from Pascal Siakam were enough to subdue the Wizards at the Capital One Arena.
Leonard has now scored 20 or more points in 19 straight games, the longest current streak in the league.
The Raptors led by 23 points in the first half, but gave up 40 Wizards points in the fourth quarter. Toronto could have won at the end of regulation time but Leonard missed a short jumper. They had another opportunity at the end of the first overtime but Kyle Lowry’s three-point attempt was well off.
Lowry finished with 12 points and 11 assists.
Heavy load: Leonard played 45 minutes, the most he has played in a game since January, 2017. He, Lowry (50 minutes), Danny Green (42) and Serge Ibaka (41) played the entire two overtime periods. The only substitution was OG Anunoby for Siakam, after Siakam fouled out. Controlling the boards: Siakam’s season has been a revelation, and he has set personal bests for single-game scoring five times already. He established a new personal standard for rebounds Sunday when he grabbed 19 boards, 16 in regulation time. Leonard added 11 boards as Toronto outrebounded Washington 58-52.
Walled off: The Wizards fell to 7-5 since losing John Wall for the season (heel surgery), and they failed to win their third straight home game after victories over Milwaukee and Philadelphia.
Beal appeal: Bradley Beal has taken over as Washington’s primary offensive force in the absence of Wall, averaging almost 29 points a game in January before Sunday, and he almost brought the Wizards back.
The 25-year-old guard started the day 1-for-9 from the field before warming up, finishing with 43 points on 36 field-goal attempts. He scored 14 of his points in the final 51⁄ 2 minutes of the fourth quarter as Washington forced overtime.
Up next: Two days off — one to rest, one to practise — and a date in Boston with the Celtics on Wednesday.
The Wizards’ Bradley Beal hit a three-pointer to force overtime, part of his game-high 43 points on Sunday.