Raptors, Wizards tangle in DC

(SportsNetwork.com) - The Toronto Raptors will take a five-game winning streak on the road Saturday night when they face the Washington Wizards at the Verizon Center.

The Raptors and Wizards are two of the Eastern Conference's top teams and have been the entire season.

On Friday, the Raptors ran their streak to five thanks to a 127-122 overtime victory over the Brooklyn Nets at Barclays Center.

DeMar DeRozan finished with 26 points and nine assists to lead Toronto.

"He did a great job," said head coach Dwane Casey. "They were double-teaming him, half-blitzing him a lot of times. He made the right decision with the basketball. One turnover in 40 minutes was huge. If they take away his jump shot, cool. He's picking people apart the old-fashioned way with the pass, which is great to see."

Lou Williams netted 25 points, Amir Johnson had 24 points and seven rebounds and Jonas Valanciunas supplied 14 points and 11 boards for the Raptors. Patrick Patterson finished with 12 points and All-Star starter Kyle Lowry managed 10.

With the game tied, DeRozan hit a runner and was fouled, but missed the ensuing free throw. Jarrett Jack went down the court and tied the game again on a floater with 56.6 seconds left.

Mason Plumlee then blocked DeRozan on a layup attempt, but Johnson was there for his second huge putback of overtime. After Jack missed a jumper and Bojan Bogdanovic a trey, Brooklyn was forced to foul.

DeRozan knocked down two free throws and Lowry split a pair to seal the win.

The Raptors return to Canada for five straight before the All-Star break.

The Wizards return home for two straight after a 2-2 western road trip. They started with a loss in Portland, then rattled off back-to-back wins over the Denver Nuggets and Los Angeles Lakers.

On Wednesday, the Wizards nearly overturned an 18-point fourth-quarter deficit, but fell, 106-98, to the Phoenix Suns.

Washington, which overcame a 19-point first-half deficit in Tuesday's win over the Lakers, tried all it could to perform an encore against the Suns. Down 88-70 early in the fourth, the Wizards ripped off a 17-3 run to cut their deficit to four with under seven minutes left.

The Suns weathered the surge by scoring the next eight points, but Washington had one last rush in them as Otto Porter's 3-pointer trimmed the deficit to 101-97 with 1:17 left.

Goran Dragic committed a turnover on Phoenix's ensuing possession, but John Wall was off on a 3 and Markieff Morris made a clutch jumper at the other end with 23.5 seconds left to seal it.

Marcin Gortat and Porter each netted 14 points in the loss, while Kris Humphries tallied 11 points and 15 rebounds. Wall had 11 points, seven assists and seven rebounds in the loss.

"You can say they beat us up on the boards in the first half. They were denying us everywhere on the offensive end," said guard Bradley Beal, who netted 13 on Wednesday.

The Wizards host the Charlotte Hornets on Monday.

The Raptors beat the Wizards by 19 in Toronto on Nov. 7 and have taken five of the last six meetings. The teams have split the last six encounters in Washington.