Published January 08, 2015
Toronto, ON (SportsNetwork.com) - John Wall and Marcin Gortat each poured in 31 points and the Washington Wizards went into Air Canada Centre and edged the Toronto Raptors in three overtimes, 134-129.
Wall also handed out nine assists and Gortat had 12 rebounds on top of his career-best scoring output. Trevor Ariza added 16 points and 10 boards to help Washington win its fifth straight game and inch closer to Toronto for the third spot in the Eastern Conference.
"My feet and back are hurting and I didn't even play," joked Washington head coach Randy Wittman. "It's hard to put this game into words. There were so many changes of emotion, ups and downs."
The Wizards, who scored 80 of their 134 points in the paint, now sit two games behind the Atlantic Division-leading Raptors.
DeMar DeRozan netted a game-high 34 points in more than 57 minutes for Toronto, while Kyle Lowry -- who injured his ankle late in regulation but stayed in and played 54 himself -- flirted with a triple-double in the setback. Lowry finished with 18 points, 10 assists and nine boards.
"He (Lowry) stayed in the game but he turned his ankle real bad," said Toronto coach Dwane Casey. "Next man up. Greivis Vasquez did a heck of a job coming in and covering for Kyle. He took the ball-handling duties away from him, letting him rest on the side. I thought Kyle still battled on defense and that was huge for us."
After Wall drove and dished off to Gortat for a layup with 1:16 left in regulation, Vasquez scored on a short jumper and transition layup to put Toronto up 106-104. Vasquez made the most of his extended playing time, notching 26 points and eight assists off Toronto's bench.
Al Harrington missed a corner 3-point try on Washington's next possession, but Gortat backtapped the rebound to keep possession. Bradley Beal then missed a pull-up jumper, but Gortat was there for the putback. Lowry's floater rimmed out as the buzzer sounded.
Toronto jumped out to a 110-106 lead to start the extra session, but Wall later converted a 3-point play, split a pair at the free throw line and finished a driving layup with 23.3 seconds left to knot it at 114-114. Again Lowry drove in the final seconds, but this time Wall was there to deny his attempt and force a second OT.
Gortat and DeRozan each scored four points in the second overtime to account for all the scoring. Washington led by two in the final seconds when DeRozan drove the baseline, spun out of traffic and made an uncontested layup with 2.7 seconds on the clock. Beal's runner was pure on the other end, but it came fractions of a second after the clock expired.
The Wizards finally ended it with a strong finish to the third overtime period. The Raptors led by three with 1:45 to go when Gortat's 3-point play tied it at 127-127. Wall then forced consecutive turnovers by Vasquez, with each leading to layups at the other end. Ariza and Martell Webster were the beneficiaries, and Wall's swooping layup with 30 seconds to play was the dagger.
Washington led 57-54 after a back-and-forth first half and 83-78 heading into the fourth quarter. Vasquez quickly tied it at 85-85 with his triple 1:49 into the frame, and neither team led by more than six the rest of the way.
Toronto guard Terrence Ross left in the second quarter with a sprained left ankle and did not return ... Washington outrebounded Toronto, 57-50 ... The Wizards shot just 5-of-22 from 3-point range ... Five players fouled out in this one ... There were 19 ties and 15 lead changes.