Raptors aim to stay hot versus Wizards
The Eastern Conference-leading Toronto Raptors go for their fifth straight win when they visit the improving Washington Wizards on Sunday.
Kawhi Leonard had 20 points and 11 rebounds, Pascal Siakam scored 16 points and the Raptors beat the Brooklyn Nets 122-105 on Friday night for their seventh straight home win.
Serge Ibaka added 14 points and no Raptors starter played more than 27 minutes as Toronto led by 11 at halftime, and by 24 after three quarters.
Toronto (32-12) has won six of seven and its only loss in that span was Jan. 3 at San Antonio.
Brooklyn jumped out to a 35-28 lead, but the Raptors defense tightened and the Nets managed only 18 points in the second quarter.
"I think we started getting back a little bit better," Raptors coach Nick Nurse told the Toronto Sun. "Our transition defense started out kind of poor and we started showing a little bit more length and deflections."
The Raptors and Wizards both rank in the lower third of the NBA in 3-point percentage, but have improved of late.
The Raptors made 11 three-pointers against the Nets, giving them more than 10 for the fourth straight game.
"You tell those guys to make 'em and keep taking 'em, let's make sure we're taking the right ones and most of 'em are the right ones," Nurse told the Toronto Star.
Washington is shooting 48.9 percent from beyond the arc over its last three games and made a franchise-record 18 3-pointers in 33 attempts (54.5 percent) in a win against the Bucks on Friday.
Veteran swingman Patrick McCaw, signed this week by Toronto, could make his debut against the Wizards.
"He's what about 6-foot-5, 6-6, so that puts him on the perimeter for us. After that, we don't really know," Nurse said. "Hopefully he can space and attack and handle the ball and he can defend. Those are the things he's supposed to be able to do. Pretty interesting defender."
Bradley Beal scored 32 points, Tomas Satoransky had his first triple-double and the Wizards defeated the visiting Milwaukee Bucks 113-106 on Friday night. Milwaukee was without Giannis Antetokounmpo, who sat out with a hip injury.
Satoransky had 18 points, 12 rebounds and 10 assists for Washington, which has won two straight and five of seven.
"Well, I think defensively we are much better," Satoransky said of Washington's recent turn. "We can see that we are not giving up on the plays when we are playing bad on offense.
"Today, we had a couple of turnovers in the second quarter, where we usually go down on ourselves, but we stayed playing hard and that allows us to stay in the game and again, then catch a rhythm on offense."
Jeff Green and Trevor Ariza scored 20 points each for the Wizards.
Meanwhile, Satoransky, starting at point guard in place of injured John Wall, had a career night that led to a postgame team celebration in the locker room.
"He plays the right way and he cares, and he wants to get better and he has never given any of our coaches any problems," Wizards coach Scott Brooks said. "He just goes out there and competes and he plays, and he deserves these extra minutes."
--Field Level Media
Updated January 12, 2019