Raptors 129 Wizards 120
TORONTO — Pascal Siakam had 44 points and OG Anunoby added 22, both career highs, as the Toronto Raptors rallied to down the Washington Wizards 129-120 on Wednesday for their sixth straight win
Kawhi Leonard (knee soreness) was out but newly acquired guard Jeremy Lin was in for the Raptors (43-16) in a makeshift lineup.
After trailing by 10 early, Washington was up by six at the half and pushed the lead to 12 in the third at 80-68. But a 20-2 Toronto run with Kyle Lowry leading the way turned the tide in a back-and-forth game.
The Raptors, stiffening their defence, outscored the Wizards 44-28 in the third to lead 103-93.
Washington (24-34) kept clawing its way back and got to within one at 112-111. But Lowry and Siakam reeled off a 7-0 run and Toronto held firm the rest of the way as the Wizard fightback faded.
It was the last game for both teams before the all-star break. The Raptors and Wizards resume play Feb. 22, with Toronto welcoming DeMar DeRozan and the San Antonio Spurs.
Both teams had six players in double figures.
Bradley Beal and Jeff Green led Washington with 28 and 23, respectively. Jabari Parker had 22.
Lowry had 14 points and 13 assists. Lin finished with eight points, five assists and five rebounds.
Siakam’s previous career high was 33 points with Anunoby’s at 21. Siakam, who scored 30 points in the second half, added 10 rebounds and two assists.
Toronto’s 43 wins before the all-star break are a franchise record. The Raptors have won 13 of their last 14 at Scotiabank Arena and are 24-5 at home this season.
The Wizards, coming off a 121-112 loss Monday in Detroit, have lost five of their last seven. Toronto was the third stop of a four-game road trip.
Nick Nurse started Lowry, Siakam, Norman Powell, Danny Green and Serge Ibaka.
Lowry came out hot, feeding Siakam for a dunk and Green for an alley-oop layup. The Wizards, meanwhile missed their first six shots as Toronto opened an early 10-point lead at 12-2 before rallying to cut the margin to 16-14.
Lin entered to a standing ovation with just over four minutes remaining in the first quarter. He promptly stole the ball, only to turn it over on the ensuing fast break. His first assist as a Raptor led to a Green three-pointer.
Toronto led 30-26 at the end of the first quarter with Siakam (11) and Green (7) combining for 18 points.
But Washington outscored Toronto 39-29 to lead 65-59 after a sloppy second quarter that saw the Raptors hit just 11-of-30 shots.
The Raptors missed their first five shots before Lin opened his account with a driving layup.
Toronto’s mood went from bad to worse when Lowry was called for a flagrant foul, Powell conceded a three-shot foul and Nurse, unhappy at the officiating, was hit with a technical late in the half. Lowry headed to the bench with his third foul.
While Leonard sat out for the second time in four games with left knee soreness, Lin made his Raptors debut after landing earlier in the day. The former Atlanta Hawk immediately moved into the backup point guard position behind Lowry with Fred VanVleet sidelined by a thumb injury (VanVleet has undergone surgery and will wear a splint for another three weeks).
Lin, a nine-year NBA veteran who attended Harvard, wore the No. 17 that used to belong to the recently departed Jonas Valanciunas, now with Memphis.
His Toronto debut came seven years and one day after he sank a memorable three-pointer at the final buzzer that gave the visiting New York Knicks a 90-87 win over the Raptors.
Leonard, who leads the team in scoring at 27.0 points a game, has played in 43 of the Raptors 59 games this season — missing 10 for rest/load management reasons, two for a bruised right hip, two for left ankle soreness and two due to the knee.
He saw action in just nine games with the Spurs last season due to a quad injury
Marc Gasol played his third game in Raptors colours. Patrick McCaw missed out with a sore right shoulder.
Leonard, voted a starter, and Lowry, a reserve pick, are both part of this weekend’s all-star festivities in Charlotte. Anunoby is slated to play in the Rising Stars game with Green taking part in the three-point shooting contest.
Washington was without Dwight Howard (back surgery), John Wall (left Achilles tendon tear), Troy Brown Jr. (left ankle sprain) and Tomas Satoransky (personal reasons).