WASHINGTON D.C. — The Washington Wizards came back to D.C. to play a two-game homestand knowing they were down 0-2 to the Toronto Raptors. Nothing seemed to be working while they were in Toronto and losing a third game would be all but fatal. However, Washington implemented a game plan that included: defending against the opponent, knocking down shots, and playing team basketball. Kelly Oubre said those things help lift the Wizards, 122-103, over the Raptors.
“The defensive pressure, physicality was the difference,” Oubre said. “We came out there. We touched up. We made sure they couldn’t go anywhere they wanted to go. We brought the grit and grind to the game.”
The Wizards swarmed the Raptors at every chance. Toronto had 19 turnovers and shot 45.1 percent from the field. Additionally, Washington kept Toronto’s second unit quiet at the Capital One Arena. C.J Miles who averaged 15 points in the first two games, struggled offensively with just nine points. The sharpshooter was 1-for-5 from behind the arc and 2-for-7 overall from the field. Despite the accomplishments from tonight’s game, Oubre said there is still more work ahead of them.
“We haven’t done anything yet, man,” Oubre expressed. “They took care of their business at home. We have to do the same, and Sunday is going to be even tougher than today. So, we gotta bring our A-game.”
Many criticize the Wizards for their “too cool for school” mindset and rightfully so. Tonight, Washington came out confident and unfazed despite to 0-2 hole to Toronto. Oubre said that their mentality approaching tonight’s game is what set the tone for the successful production.
“We have a bunch of guys who know how to survive in here. So, when our life is on the line, we definitely come through,” Oubre said. “If we went down 3-0, we already knew the possibilities and the chances of us coming back through this series, and it wouldn’t been nice. We gotta take care of homecourt.”
Offensively and defensively this team came and delivered. John Wall finished the night with 28 points as did Bradley Beal. The backcourt combined to shoot 22-for-42 (52.4 percent) from the field. Additionally, Beal knocked down four of his five three-point attempts.
Wall had 14 of the team’s 28 assists. Six of those assists were the reasons why Marcin Gortat was 8-for-10 shooting from the field with 16 points on the night. Oubre said everything came together tonight.
“It’s fun, no doubt,” Oubre said. “At the end of the day, our two guys, our two leaders were definitely clicking. So, when they’re clicking, guys definitely have to step their game up, and we have to match their intensity.”