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Raptors hold off Wall, Wizards
Toronto, ON (SportsNetwork.com) - Rudy Gay provided the difference in crunch time as the Toronto Raptors fended off John Wall and the Washington Wizards, 96-88, to win back-to-back games in November for the first time since 2010.
Gay scored nine of his 17 points in the final 2:33, DeMar DeRozan netted 17 points as well and Jonas Valanciunas provided a double-double with 11 points and 13 rebounds in the win.
The Raptors somehow lead the Atlantic Division while still being under .500 at 6-7. They will try to even their record next Tuesday when they host the Nets in the second of a four-game homestand.
Washington had its two-game winning streak snapped despite a tremendous showing from Wall, who was an efficient 15-of-20 from the floor for 37 points. Bradley Beal checked in with 17 points, while Nene had 10 points and 10 boards in the setback.
"I was able to knock down shots, but it doesn't mean anything if you don't come away with a win," Wall said.
The Wizards brought a 70-66 lead into the fourth quarter after Wall erupted for 18 points in the third, but Toronto opened the final stanza on a 9-0 run.
Beal quieted the rally with a deep make, but a Gay layup and 3-pointers from Steve Novak and Terrence Ross pushed Toronto's lead to 83-73 near the midway point.
Six consecutive points by Wall kept the Wizards close, and a Beal three-point play cut Washington's deficit to 87-84 with 3:23 remaining.
Gay, though, had the final say, scoring on a turnaround from the right block and adding two free throws for some breathing room. He countered Wall's free throw and 3-pointer with a tough pull-up jumper, then sank four free throws in the final minute to close out the victory.
"We needed him down the stretch and he made plays for us," Raptors head coach Dwane Casey said of Gay, who was suffering from a fever.
DeRozan and Amir Johnson combined for 21 points in the first quarter. Johnson threw down a thunderous alley-oop dunk late in the frame, and DeRozan ended it with a layup for a 32-27 Raptors lead.
Toronto stayed in front heading into the locker room, but Washington quickly cut into its 51-38 halftime deficit. Wall took over in the middle portion of the third, which included a personal 8-0 run that put the Wizards in front. During the spurt, Wall recorded a steal and went behind his back to get past a defender for a layup, and on the next possession converted a three-point play to give Washington a 60-57 lead.
Toronto won consecutive games in November for the first time since a four-game winning streak from Nov. 17-24, 2010 ... Toronto's bench outscored Washington's 25-9 ... Johnson finished with 14 points ... The Wizards have lost seven of eight contests north of the border.
11/23 01:46:53 ET