Raptors Vs. Wizards: Washington Snaps Losing Streak With Convincing 15 Point Win Over Toronto

An improved defensive effort and nearly 50 percent shooting delivered Washington its first win of the season.

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Raptors Vs. Wizards Notebook: How Much Does One Win Mean?

Washington, D.C. - A winning locker room is a happy locker room. Before the Wizards 93-78 victory vs. the Raptors on Wednesday night, Rashard Lewis -- fresh off an incident where he either got into an argument with assistant Sam Cassell or forgot his sports coat depending on who you ask -- called winning the "medicine" that Washington needed to turn around its season or at least shift the environment of negativity.

But how much will one win -- the first win -- mean to the Wizards? On Tuesday night, a lot. With a tough schedule coming up (next five: @ CHI, @PHI, PHI, HOU, OKC), we'll see.

Washington, which opened the season with a franchise-record eight consecutive losses, is too-familiar with the yoke of a losing streak that won't die. Last season the Wizards failed to win in their first 25 road games -- a streak that grew weightier with each additional loss. It (the losing) makes it hard to just play basketball.

"When you ain't winning, you get fans booing you, just everything is in your head. 'Man, we gotta try and get something going,'" guard Nick Young said. "Then once you get that first victory, things should just get back to normal."

Perhaps the best image from Tuesday night was John Wall with a big old smile after JaVale McGee rose above him to put down an alley-oop in transition, one of the many exclamation points the Wizards put on their first win of the season.

"I thought it was for me, but you know I never get one of those," Wall joked after the game.

But that was about the only thing left to be desired from a much-needed win. Of course, the good feelings won't last long if the Wizards go.

"You feel good about yourself," Lewis said. "Especially going into the game [Wednesday vs. the Bulls] and knowing if we play the right way we can win, even if though it's a Toronto Raptor team or we playing up against a much better team [Wednesday], but anything can happen."

Lineup

The Wizards shuffled the rotation on Tuesday, starting forwards Chris Singleton and Trevor Booker and bringing team captain Andray Blatche and Rashard Lewis off the bench. It had something to do with a sore shoulder for Blatche and sore knees for Lewis, but head coach Flip Saunders revealed the Wizards worked with those rotations in practice on Monday, too.

He seemed OK with the switch after the game.

"Even if it costs the job of me coming off the bench, if this is how it is all season long, as long as we playing like that I don't have no problem doing that role. It's all winning and making steps," Blatche said. ... "In that situation we won, and I like it that way, you know? As long as we got a win column on the list off a situation like that, why change it?"

Blatche's roll wasn't terribly different coming off the bench -- he still took as many shots as anyone not named John Wall or Nick Young. Saunders said he told Blatche he wanted stability and reliable scoring on the second unit.

"Come off the bench, there's not that many scorers on the floor so I'm one of the main guys that have to be aggressive for us." Blatche said. "It's fine to me, as long as we winning. If we're not winning, then that's when everything change."

Jan Vesely

The Jan Vesely era -- which of course began with an air-balled free throw -- got significantly better on Tuesday night. The Dunking Ninja recorded five steals in 16 minutes, using his length to disrupt the Raptors passing lanes. After the game, he even got his hair rubbed by a female fan while signing autographs.

"That's the new fan favorite right there, I said," according to Nick Young. "He took my spot. He played great. So I was proud of him out there."

Young referred to Vesely's "Overseas Swag," which some Internet enterprise should be bringing to a T-Shirt near you, soon.

Fans

Until Tuesday, Wizards fans had little to cheer about this season. Against the Raptors, Washington played in front of a sparse crowd, many of whom paid very little for their tickets. But the Wizards put on a good show and the Verizon Center felt like a crowd should feel when their team wins a basketball game for the first time in nine months. (I wrote at the time: "A couple of dunks and a strange feeling comes over the Verizon crowd ... 'It's called happiness,' someone will later explain.")

"It feel like we won a championship or a playoff game," Nick Young said after the game. Boy, it's good to get a win.

For more on the game, check back with our comprehensive Raptors vs. Wizards StoryStream and hop over to our Wizards blog, Bullets Forever.

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Raptors Vs. Wizards Final Score: Washington Gets First Win Of The Season With Convincing 93-78 Victory Over Toronto

The Washington Wizards notched their first win of the season on Tuesday night with convincing 93-78 victory over the Toronto Raptors. While tickets may have been going for less than a dollar in some places, owner Ted Leonsis, who was sitting courtside, had to come away pleased with the improved effort after a disheartening home loss to the Timberwolves on Sunday.

Washington got key contributions off their bench which chipped in a total of 43 points. Rashard Lewis had 15 points off the bench, while Jordan Crawford added 11 points and Andray Blatche nine in relief roles while Flip Saunders experimented with a new starting lineup.

A huge second quarter gave Washington a 12 point lead at the half, and they continued that momentum into the second half. The Wizards held the Raptors without a field goal for the last five minutes and forty seconds of the third quarter while shooting 50 percent from the floor on the offensive end in the third. Jan Vesely, Chris Singleton, and Trevor Booker were huge for Washington, providing spark and energy and playing a key role in a Wizards 21-2 second half run. The run was capped with a Vesely dunk on an alley-oop from fellow rookie Shelvin Mack. The No. 6 overall pick finished with four points and had five steals, playing a huge part in Washington's improved defensive effort.

The Wizards, who hadn't had 20 assists in a game all season, finished with 20 dimes on Tuesday. John Wall had nine assists and eight points in the win. It was important to capitalize and get this first win against Toronto, as the Wiz now head out on the road to face one of the best teams in the league in the Chicago Bulls on Wednesday night.

For more on the Wizards, visit our community at Bullets Forever, and for more from the opposing bench, check out Raptors HQ, SB Nation's Raptors blog.

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Raptors Vs. Wizards Score Update: Bench Scoring And Huge Second Quarter Give Washington 12 Point Advantage At Halftime

Searching for their first win of the season, the Washington Wizards took a twelve 46-34 lead over the Toronto Raptors into the locker room at halftime of Monday night's matchup at Verizon Center. For the first time this season, the Wizards were the ones forcing the action and turning over their opponent, as the Raptors gave it away nine times in the second quarter alone. Toronto's second quarter sloppiness led to a 15 point advantage for Washington over those 12 minutes.

The Washington bench outscored the Raptors bench 26-5 in the first twenty four minutes. Dealing with a shoulder injury, Andray Blatche, who was a game time decision, was an integral part of that bench-scoring advantage. Blatche had six points and five boards in just 11 minutes off the bench. Jordan Crawford was also huge off the bench, getting off eight shots for nine points in 12 minutes. Everyone who has played for the Wizards, 10 guys total, has scored. After another awful shooting day against Minnesota on Sunday, the Wizards are shooting better than 45 percent tonight against Toronto.

Washington will look to build on the momentum of the second quarter to end their season-opening losing streak.

Keep up with the latest news and score updates from Tuesday night's game on our Wizards Vs. Raptors StoryStream. For more on the Wizards, visit our community at Bullets Forever, and for more from the opposing bench, check out Raptors HQ, SB Nation's Raptors blog.

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Andray Blatche Injury: Washington Wizards Forward A Game-Time Decision Vs. Toronto

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Washington Wizards forward Andray Blatche is officially listed as a game-time decision for Tuesday's game against the Toronto Raptors with a sore shoulder. He is not on the team's official starting lineup, yielding instead to Trevor Booker, so if he plays, he will come off the bench.

Coach Flip Saunders hinted at a possible lineup change in his pre-game press conference, and Blatche told Craig Stouffer of the Washington Examiner that he had shoulder pain. However, Blatche then went to the court to shoot around and told Adam McGinnis of Truth About It that he would attempt to play coming off the bench. The Wizards list him as a game-time decision.

Keep up with the latest news and score updates from Tuesday night's game on our Wizards Vs. Raptors StoryStream. For more on the Wizards, visit our community at Bullets Forever, and for more from the opposing bench, check out Raptors HQ, SB Nation's Raptors blog.

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Raptors Vs. Wizards: Wizards Cheap-Ticket Drama Gets Worse

It was unfortunate enough to learn that Wizards tickets to Tuesday night's game vs. the Raptors could be had for 20 percent of a StubHub convenience charge. But none of the jokes being made in the Wizards corner of the Twitter-sphere could be worse than this:

Just how bad were those Los Angeles teams? DeRozan graduated from Compton High School in 2008, the year the Clippers went 23-59 while Elton Brand missed almost the entire season with an ACL injury.

Keep up with the latest news, score updates and -- of course -- humor from Tuesday night's game on our Wizards Vs. Raptors StoryStream. For more on the Wizards, visit our community at Bullets Forever, and for more from the opposing bench, check out Raptors HQ, SB Nation's Raptors blog.

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Raptors Vs. Wizards Game Time, TV Schedule And More

The Washington Wizards have been anything but must-see television this year, but if they register their first win against the Raptors on Tuesday, aren't you going to be able to tell your friends that you stuck around and watched it happen? They'll be facing a very vulnerable Raptors team that has just as much trouble scoring the basketball as the Wizard do, and as a result, could be the Wizards first victim this season.

Here is all the information you need to find the game tonight.

Game Date/Time: Tuesday, January 10; 7:00pm ET

Location: Verizon Center, Washington, D.C.

TV Schedule: CSN

Radio Schedule: 106.7 the Fan

We'll have plenty more on this game throughout the day here on SB Nation D.C., so keep it locked to this StoryStream. For more on the Wizards, please head over to Bullets Forever, and for more from the opposing bench, check out Raptors HQ, SB Nation's Raptors blog.

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Raptors Vs. Wizards: Washington Still Looking For First Win Of Season

The Washington Wizards will host the 4-5 Toronto Raptors at the Verizon Center on Tuesday. Can they record their first win?

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