Wizards carry momentum north of the border to Toronto

9:42 AM, Apr 3, 2013   |    comments
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(Sports Network) - The Washington Wizards will try to build on their two-game winning streak on Wednesday night when they visit the Toronto Raptors at Air Canada Centre.

The Wiz moved their home winning streak to eight games Tuesday with a 90-86 victory over the Chicago Bulls, a team in the thick of things in the Eastern Conference playoff race.

"This was, I thought, a really positive step again for us in learning and moving in the direction we want to go," said Washington coach Randy Wittman. "We didn't particularly, I think you can ask any of our players in there, play our 'A' game, yet we gutted a win out. We gutted a win out and (over) 82 games you're not going to have your 'A' game and to be a good team and move in the direction we want to move in, you have got to find a way to win when you don't have that and defensively that was tonight."

The Wizards held the Bulls to 37 points in the second half and to 39 percent shooting from the field.

John Wall was once again spectacular with 27 points, nine assists and eight rebounds. A.J. Price netted 13 off the bench and Nene, Emeka Okafor and Trevor Ariza all had 10 apiece.

Bradley Beal aggravated his knee injury and didn't play full minutes.

Washington has lost three in a row on the road, but, on Sunday, the Wizards topped the Raptors in D.C. The Wiz won that one by 17, but the Raptors will be out for revenge.

Toronto has been awful of late. The Raptors are 4-14 in their last 18 and 1-7 over their last eight. They've lost two in a row, including a home setback to the Detroit Pistons on Monday.

Jose Calderon returned to Toronto and was instrumental in the Pistons 108-98 victory.

Monday's loss officially knocked the Raptors out of the playoffs.

"It hurts," said Raptors head coach Dwane Casey. "Our goal was to knock on the doors and get into the playoffs. A couple of weeks ago we saw that light, but it faded when we could not take care of games against Washington, Cleveland and Milwaukee.

"Unfortunately it is over now. It hurts."

Rudy Gay led the way with 34 points and Jonas Valanciunas (17) and DeMar DeRozan (15) also played key roles.

The Raptors were outscored by the Pistons, 33-19 in the fourth quarter.

The Wizards have won two of three this season against the Raptors, including a game in Toronto.

The Sports Network

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