Valanciunas has career night, Raptors beat Wizards
Posted at: 04/03/2013 10:36 PM
By: | WHEC.com
(AP) TORONTO - Jonas Valanciunas scored a career-high 24 points and grabbed 10 rebounds as the Toronto Raptors beat the Washington Wizards 88-78 on Wednesday night.
Valanciunas went 16 of 18 from the free throw line and DeMar DeRozan had 25 points for Toronto (28-47), which snapped a two-game slide after being eliminated from the playoff chase with Monday’s 108-98 home loss to Detroit.
John Wall had 20 points for the short-handed Wizards (28-47), who announced before the game that rookie standout Bradley Beal will miss the remainder of the season with a right leg injury.
The Raptors entered the fourth carrying a 68-62 lead thanks in part to solid free throw shooting from Valanciunas and Kyle Lowry, who had nine points, eight boards and 13 assists in the game.
DeRozan made a long jumper late in the fourth, stretching the Raptors’ lead to 84-74, and they held on for the win.
The Raptors are second in the NBA in free throw shooting percentage since the All-Star break at 81 percent. They hit 75 percent (27 of 36) Wednesday.
Trailing 50-39 at halftime, Toronto used an early 12-4 run to pull within two.
DeRozan put down a one-handed dunk on Nene while being fouled, and Valanciunas took care of Nene defensively with a one-handed swat on the 6-foot-11 forward.
The Raptors rookie followed up his career-high, five-block effort on Monday with a pair on Wednesday.
Toronto scored the first six points and led for much of the first period, but Trevor Ariza capped off a 6-0 Washington run with a 3-pointer to put the Wizards up 24-23 after the first.
Rudy Gay, who scored a season-high 34 in the Raptors’ loss to Detroit, finished with six points and eight rebounds.
Landry Fields, who went to Los Angeles for follow-up tests on his right elbow Monday, was back in the Raptors lineup Wednesday and scored three points in 17 minutes.
Notes: Beal, the No. 3 overall pick in last year’s draft out of Florida, averaged 13.9 points, 3.8 assists and 2.4 rebounds this season.
(Copyright 2013 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)