- Associated Press - Wednesday, November 2, 2016

DeMar DeRozan wouldn’t let a little ankle injury keep him from carrying the Toronto Raptors.

DeRozan shook it off and scored 40 points, outdueling John Wall in a showcase of All-Star guards as the Raptors beat the winless Washington Wizards 113-103 on Wednesday night. Despite leaving the game briefly to get his ankles re-taped, DeRozan was 14 of 23 from the floor and cracked the 30-point mark for the fourth time in four games to start the season.

“He’s playing on another level right now,” said backcourt mate Kyle Lowry, who scored 18. “He’s making my life a lot easier and making I think everybody on our team’s life a lot easier. He’s saving possessions, he’s creating possessions. He’s creating offense.”

DeRozan tied Mike James’ 2005 franchise record with four consecutive 30-point games after previously dropping 40, 32 and 33 in games against Detroit, Cleveland and Denver. He said he didn’t care about Sports Illustrated ranking him the 46th-best player in the NBA but tries to improve each night.

“I’m just a student of the game,” DeRozan said. “I just try and put everything together, be a student of the game while working, always feeling like I’m new to the game so I can soak up as much as possible. I try to release it once I get out there on the court.”

DeRozan released enough that the Raptors (3-1) withstood a dominant performance from Wall, who scored 33 points in 13 of 19 shooting and dished out 11 assists. Otto Porter also shot 11 of 13 and had 23 points for the Wizards (0-3), who committed 21 turnovers that turned into 30 Toronto points.

“That’s hard to overcome,” Wizards coach Scott Brooks said. “There’s a few things that we have to correct.”

A CUT BELOW

Lowry needed three stitches to close a cut below his right eye. Coach Dwane Casey knew DeRozan’s ankle was OK but was concerned because he didn’t know how bad Lowry’s cut was.

“He bounced back,” Casey said. “He’d be probably a pretty good hockey player if that’s the case. He came back. I thought that got his attention a little bit to say, ‘Hey this is for real tonight.’”

BENCH BOSSES

When DeRozan and Lowry were out early in the second quarter, the Raptors climbed back into the game thanks to a big showing from reserves Terrence Ross, Patrick Patterson and Cory Joseph. Toronto’s bench combined for 34 points to Washington’s 11.

“They played great,” DeRozan said. “They got us the momentum back.”

MUST-WIN?

Center Marcin Gortat called this a “must win” for the Wizards at the morning shootaround, an ultimatum that didn’t make much sense three games into a season.

“We’re all right, we’re fine, just three games,” Wall said. “I don’t know why he said it’s a must win. You want to win a home opener, yeah, but it’s not a must win.”

TIP-INS

Raptors: Toronto has won eight consecutive regular-season meetings and 11 of the past 12. … DeRozan tied Jose Calderon for the second-most games played in Raptors with his 525th. He’s 18 away from tying Morris Peterson for first.

Wizards: The Wizards fell to 0-3 for the fourth time in six seasons. … Rookie Tomas Satoransky checked in late in the third quarter after playing just 6 minutes in the first two games. He finished with two points in just under 10 minutes.

The Wizards host the Hawks on Friday for the second meeting in 10 days after opening with a 114-99 loss at Atlanta last week.

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