The Washington Wizards defeated the Toronto Raptors Monday in a 90-84 road victory. Wizards rookie Bradley Beal led the charge once again, with a team-high 20 points on 8-of-13 from the field shooting. DeMar Derozan led the Raptors in defeat with 25.
The Wizards are now 1-1 against the Raptors, with two more left to go. Washington has done a great job stopping Rudy Gay, who went 1-for-11 Monday thanks to the defense of Trevor Ariza. Gay is now 11-for-36 (.306) overall after two games against the Wizards. With Gay out of commission, Washington evened up the season series.
Five Wizards scored in double-digits in the victory. Martell Webster scored 12 points and went 2-for-3 from downtown. Webster currently ranks second overall (.449) from that range, behind only Atlanta Hawks guard Kyle Korver (.464). Nene fell a rebound short of a double-double with 11 points and 9 rebounds, while Emeka Okafor fell two points short of one of his own with 8 points and 13 rebounds. John Wall achieved 10 points and 7 assists--with four of those assists going to Beal--and backup A.J. Price chipped in 12 points off the bench and went a perfect 2-for-2 from downtown as Washington went an efficient 7-for-12 from behind the three-point arc.
Beal has scored 20 or more points in four of Washington's last six games and has averaged 18.6 points, 2.8 assists, and 5.4 rebounds per game over his last five. The former Florida Gator will have a tough time besting Damian Lillard for Rookie of the Year honors, but if the Wizards keep winning it'll be a close race.
Weber State guard Lillard is averaging 18.3 points, 6.5 assists, and 3.2 rebounds for the Portland Trail Blazers this season, yet Beal is starting to catch up. This month alone belongs to Beal so far, as he's on pace for a second straight month at .500 or above three-point shooting (.508 in January, .500 currently over the month of February).
The Wizards have one more game left in February Wednesday (7:00 p.m. ET, CSN), as Washington hosts the Detroit Pistons. The Pistons hold a commanding 3-0 season series lead over the Wizards and Washington will look to avoid the broom.