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News » Wizards-Raptors Preview

Wizards-Raptors Preview

Wizards-Raptors Preview
It's been a frustrating season for the Toronto Raptors and Washington Wizards, but even as they prepare for the NBA lottery, their players aren't accepting poor efforts from teammates.

Coming off embarrassing losses in their last games, the lowly Eastern Conference teams will try to bounce back Friday night when they meet in Toronto.

The Raptors (30-48) have lost three straight, dropping back-to-back home games against New York and Atlanta, then falling 130-101 at Indiana on Wednesday. It was the third time this season the Raptors, who are in 13th place in the East, allowed an opponent to reach the 130-point mark.

Chris Bosh had 21 points and nine rebounds, but the Raptors were without second-leading scorer Andrea Bargnani, who sat out with a sore left heel. Toronto shot only 38.4 percent and trailed late in the third quarter by 41.

"They made shots early and often, and we didn't provide much resistance the first three quarters," coach Jay Triano said. "We need to be competitive and try to win games."

Bosh and Patrick O'Bryant, who scored 16 in his first career start, were a combined 17-for-26 (65.4 percent) from the field. The rest of the team was just 21-for-73 (28.8).

"It's over, man," Bosh said. "The best part about it is that it's over. Doesn't matter which five we've got out there, they've got to play."

Bosh isn't the only one frustrated by his teammates' efforts.

The conference-worst Wizards (18-61) are coming off Wednesday's 98-86 loss at Cleveland - their fifth defeat in six games and 10th in the last 12.

Nick Young scored 16 and Andray Blatche added 14 points and six rebounds for Washington, which scored only 13 in the first quarter and trailed by as many as 24. It was the Wizards' fewest points since a 100-78 defeat to San Antonio on March 6 and the second blowout loss in a row after they fell by 14 to Miami over the weekend.

"You play selfish basketball, try to pad the stats and not play to win games, you get blown out," forward Antawn Jamison said. "The same stuff has been going on all year. It gets to the point where it's frustration. I don't know. It's not playing team basketball and not doing the things you need to do in order to win.

"It's disappointing. We continue to take steps back. There are no excuses. The Wizards, for some reason, when they do something good, they take four or five steps back."

Gilbert Arenas rested his surgically repaired right knee for a second straight game Wednesday. He's played in two contests since returning from the injury that had kept him out most of the season, resting two days in between the starts.

The Wizards lost 99-93 to Toronto at home Jan. 7. Bargnani, who is day-to-day, had 25 points in that victory.

These teams meet again Monday in Washington.

Author: Fox Sports
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Added: April 9, 2009


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