John Wall’s 37 not enough as Wizards fall to Raptors

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TORONTO — John Wall wasn’t able to enjoy his best game of the season so far.

DeMar DeRozan and Rudy Gay each scored 17 points to help the Toronto Raptors beat the Washington Wizards 96-88 on Friday night, overcoming Wall’s season-high 37 points.

Wall connected on 15 of 21 field goal attempts, including both his 3-pointers, and went 5 of 7 from the free throw line. Still, it wasn’t enough for the Wizards, who fought back from a 16-point deficit to take the lead in the third quarter but couldn’t hold on in the fourth.

“It was great but it doesn’t mean anything when you don’t come out with a win,” Wall said of his performance. “We didn’t make the right plays down the stretch.”

It was the ninth time Wall has scored 30 points or more. His career high is 47, set March 25 against Memphis.

John had a good game tonight but it’s not about who had a good game, it’s about winning and losing,” Wizards coach Randy Wittman said. “That’s what we’ve got to focus on.”

Jonas Valanciunas had 11 points and 13 rebounds for Toronto. Amir Johnson added 14 points and Kyle Lowry had 12 for the Raptors, who won consecutive games for the first time this season and lead the Atlantic Division with a 6-7 record.

Bradley Beal scored 17 points but Washington’s modest winning streak was snapped at two games. Nene had 10 points and 10 rebounds for the Wizards, who have lost seven of their last eight in Toronto.

“We made efforts to get back into this game but we had too many lapses,” Martell Webster said.

Already without injured forwards Al Harrington and Trevor Ariza, Washington lost forward Jan Vesely in the third quarter with a sore lower back.

“That’s the beast of this league,” Webster said about the spate of injuries. “You’ve got to make do with what you have. It hurts every time one of your soldiers goes down, but you’ve got to keep fighting.”

After watching a 13-point lead disappear in a forgettable third quarter, the Raptors came out firing to start the fourth. Toronto took the lead with a 9-0 run to begin the period, then answered Beal’s 3-pointer with eight straight points, including back-to-back 3s by Steve Novak and Terrence Ross, to lead 83-73 with 6:33 remaining.

Wall replied with six straight points, and a three-point play by Beal cut it to 87-84 with 3:32 left.

After making one of two from the line, Wall hit a 3 with 1:33 left, cutting it to 90-88. Gay answered with a jumper, then sealed it with four straight free throws in the final 37 seconds.

Gay skipped shootaround Friday because of flu-like symptoms. He had just six points through three quarters before scoring 11 in the fourth.

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