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Question of the Day
TORONTO — Trevor Ariza put down his plate of chicken long enough for a brief postgame interview, but he wasn’t about to stop eating.
Ariza scored the go-ahead basket on a fast-break layup with 1:20 left in the third overtime and the Washington Wizards outlasted Toronto 134-129 on Thursday night to win the longest game by time in Raptors franchise history. At 3:32, the game was 10 minutes longer than the previous Toronto record, a 3:22, triple-OT loss to the Nets in England on March 5, 2011.
“I was ready for this one tonight,” Ariza said of his meal, practically a midnight snack. “It was the longest game in the world. You give it all so at the end of the game you’re just totally drained.”
Would he be having seconds after playing nearly 50 minutes?
“Oh, I’m going get some more,” Ariza said. “This is not the end of it.”
Even watching this one was draining, whether you were in the stands or on the sidelines.
“My feet and back are hurting and I didn’t even play,” Wizards coach Randy Wittman said.
Marcin Gortat fouled out with a career-best 31 points and 12 rebounds, John Wall also had 31 points, and Ariza fouled out with 16 points and 10 rebounds for the Wizards, who won their fifth straight, snapped a three-game skid against Toronto and improved to 2-0 since losing Nene to a knee injury.
“The feeling is great,” Gortat said. “We won the game, we’ve proven that we can beat this team. We really build the chemistry, we really build the team spirit with this win.”
Chris Singleton had 13 points, and Bradley Beal and Andre Miller each had 11 for Washington. The Wizards are unbeaten since a Feb. 18 home loss to Toronto.
“It’s a great win for us,” Ariza said. “They took us all the way to the wire.”
Nene sprained the MCL in his left knee in Sunday in a win over Cleveland and is expected to miss six weeks.
The Wizards are 60-61 when Nene plays and 10-34 when he doesn’t since the oft-injured Brazilian was acquired in a March 2012 trade with Denver. That includes a 3-6 mark in games this season, when Nene also missed time with a sore right Achilles tendon.
“Obviously we’re missing Nene,” Gortat said. “He was our big spark in the starting lineup, but we’ve got to play without him for the next few weeks. Each one of us has got to step up.”
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