Final / 3OT
Series starts 11/22
|Game 1: Friday, November 22nd|
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|Game 2: Friday, January 3rd|
|Recap »Boxscore »|
|Game 3: Tuesday, February 18th|
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|Game 4: Thursday, February 27th|
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7:00 PM ET, February 27, 2014
Air Canada Centre, Toronto, ON
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."
"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."
Tired and sore, Gortat said he didn't plan to step up when the Wizards hold practice on Saturday.
"I'm going to pull my veteran wild card tomorrow, I want a day off," he said. "I just can't go. I played 51 minutes and I'm barely standing right now."
DeMar DeRozan scored 34 points in 58 minutes for Toronto, and Kyle Lowry fouled out with 18 points, 10 assists and nine rebounds in 54 minutes as the Raptors lost for only the second time in their past nine home meetings with the Wizards. Toronto suffered its ninth consecutive overtime home defeat.
"We rode (Lowry) and DeMar so hard, but every game is important," Toronto coach Dwane Casey said.
"Our deck wasn't full and I thought it hurt us," Casey said.
Lowry fouled out as Gortat converted a three-point play with 1:45 left in the third overtime. Back-to-back turnovers by Vasquez on Toronto's next two possessions led to consecutive steals for Wall and fast-break baskets for Ariza and Webster, putting Washington up 131-127 with a minute remaining.
"We shut off the water," Webster said. "It was a tight game all the way down to the end and we were able to collect a couple of stops and convert on the offensive end."
DeRozan cut it to two with a pair of free throws, but Wall made a layup and Garrett Temple sealed it with a free throw.
Gortat made two free throws to put Washington up 118-116 with 43 seconds left in the second overtime but DeRozan tied it on a layup with 2.3 seconds left. Beal thought he'd won it at the buzzer, but his shot was waved off. Replay review upheld the call, sending it to a third OT. "Earlier in the season we probably would have dropped our heads when they told us that it didn't count and we have to play again," Ariza said. "Tonight just shows that we're growing and we're getter better."
Lowry, who missed a potential winner at the end of regulation, got the ball again in the final seconds of the first overtime but Webster blocked his driving shot.
Ross rolled his ankle when he stepped on a defender while driving to the basket at 2:15 of the second quarter. He stayed in the game to shoot his free throws, but was replaced just over a minute later and headed to the locker room for treatment. Ross did not return for the second half.
The game had 19 ties and 15 lead changes. ... Al Harrington was called for a flagrant foul on Toronto's Tyler Hansbrough in the second quarter. ... Lowry picked up a technical foul for arguing in the final minute of the first half.
TORONTO, CANADA - February 27: John Wall #2 of the Washington Wizards handles the ball during a game against the...(Photo by Ron Turenne/NBAE via Getty Images)
Around The Association
MVP: I'm copping out and going with both John Wall and Marcin Gortat as co-MVPs, because they tore the Raptors' defense apart together. They both ended the night with 31 points apiece, and whenever Washington needed a bucket, they would run screen-and-roll for Gortat, who would either score or get fouled.
LVP: Jonas Valanciunas is in a sophomore slump. Aside from a brief outburst in the first quarter, he was atrocious on both ends of the floor. His lack of rebounding got him nailed to the bench, and was only freed in overtime out of sheer attrition. In OT, he was stuffed twice by Gortat, dunked on and, for no reason whatsoever, he dunked in a ball that was already heading into the basket, which negated the points.
X factor: Andre Miller played only 14 minutes, but the 37-year-old veteran chipped in with 11 points and single-handed sparked a Wizards comeback in the second quarter. He looked spry, and he even pulled out his patented post-up moves for an easy basket.
Next 5 Games
Wizards center Marcin Gortat scored a career-high 31 points Thursday against the Raptors. Gortat has now gone for 20+ points and 10+ rebounds in consecutive games after compiling zero 20-10 games this season previously.
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