East powers collide when Wiz visit Raptors

(SportsNetwork.com) – A pair of Eastern Conference contenders collide Friday
night north of the border, as the Washington Wizards carry a four-game winning
streak into Toronto for a matchup with the Raptors at Air Canada Centre.

The Wizards lost their season opener at Miami and have rebounded with four
straight wins, including Wednesday’s 96-94 overtime triumph over the Indiana
Pacers. John Wall went off for 31 points on 11-of-21 shooting, 10 assists and
six rebounds, while Garrett Temple provided 16 points.

“I was just being aggressive, taking shots that were there,” Wall said.

Marcin Gortat aided the cause with 14 points and 10 rebounds for Washington,
which is 4-1 to start a season for the first time since going 5-1 in 2005-06.

Paul Pierce ended with 11 points to round out the double-digit scorers. The
Wizards survived for the win even though they shot 37.4 percent.

Meanwhile, Wall is currently the only player in the NBA averaging at least 21
points, 10 assists and four rebounds per game. Pierce is two assists shy of
4,500 in his career.

The Wizards will visit Indiana Saturday night.

Toronto has won back-to-back games and will play the next seven at home.

In a 110-107 victory at Boston on Wednesday, Kyle Lowry scored 35 points and
made 12 of his 17 shots from the field. DeMar DeRozan had 23 points and
Patrick Patterson added 14 in a winning cause.

The Raptors trailed 35-23 after the first quarter, but came alive in the final
three quarters of play.

“I’m happy with the win,” Lowry said. “But we gotta start off better than the
way we started off.”

Toronto will also host Philadelphia, Orlando, Chicago, Utah, Memphis and
Milwaukee on this franchise-record homestand.

Raptors coach Dwane Casey needs four wins to tie Lenny Wilkens (113) for
second on the team’s all-time coaching victories list. Sam Mitchell holds the
record with 156 victories.

The Raptors went 3-1 against Washington last season and have won six of the
past nine meetings between the teams. The Wizards have lost seven of nine
trips to Air Canada Centre.