Lowry scores 24 points to lead Raptors over Washington
Toronto Raptors Amir Johnson (15) drives the ball and scores against Washington Wizards Martell Webster (9), during the first half of an NBA basketball game in Washington, Tuesday, Feb. 18, 2014. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)
Harvey Valentine, The Associated Press
Published Tuesday, February 18, 2014 9:42PM EST
WASHINGTON -- Kyle Lowry had 24 points and 10 assists as the Toronto Raptors broke open a close game in the third quarter and held on for a 103-93 win over the Washington Wizards on Tuesday night.
Five Raptors joined Lowry in double figures, including Amir Johnson, who returned after missing two games with a sore right ankle. He scored 14 points.
The Atlantic Division-leading Raptors, who have won three straight, also got 14 from DeMar DeRozan and Greivis Vasquez.
John Wall led the Wizards with 22 points and Marcin Gortat added 18 points and 11rebounds.
Washington has lost three straight and five of six. The Wizards fell to 13-14 at home this season.
Leading by six at halftime, the Raptors pushed the lead to 17 as DeRozan's driving layup started a 15-2 run midway through the third quarter. Lowry scored nine of the 15 points with a variety of shots, including a driving lay-up, a short fall-away jumper and a corner 3-pointer that made it 78-61 late in the period.
The Raptors led by as many as 20 midway through the fourth quarter, before being held without a field goal for the final 7:36 of the game. The Wizards pulled to within 99-90 on a 3-pointer by Martell Webster with 2:04 left.
Following a steal, Nene's layup made it 99-92. After John Wall collected a steal, Nene made one of two free throws with 1:32 left, but Lowry hit a pair of free throws, however, to make it 101-93 with 1:02 left.
Toronto shot 57 per cent from the field (42-of-74) for the game, and finished with 60 points in the paint.
The post All-Star Break opener paired the teams currently in third place (Toronto) and sixth in the Eastern Conference when play began.
The score was tied after one, but reserves Tyler Hansbrough and Vasquez (four points each) manufactured an 8-2 Toronto run early in the second quarter.
The Raptors continually worked the ball inside during the first half, and scored 38 of their 55 points in the paint, on 19-of-26 shooting.
Wall, coming off a win in the NBA Slam Dunk Contest and 12 points in his first All-Star Game, kept the Wizards close. After scoring 10 points in the opening quarter, he added nine more in the second, hitting 9-of-12 field goals in the half.
NOTES: Wizards coach Randy Wittman was ejected after picking up his second technical foul with 4:39 remaining and Washington trailing 98-82. . Wizards F Al Harrington, who has missed the last 46 games (right knee), practiced for the first time Monday. . The Raptors lead the season series 3-0, with the teams' final meeting set for Feb. 27 in Toronto.