John Wall took over down the stretch after Bradley Beal fouled out, having a hand in 10 of Washington’s last 14 points and finishing with 27 points and 14 assists as the No 8 seed Wizards came back to beat the No 1 Toronto Raptors, 106-98, Sunday night and even their Eastern Conference first-round playoffs series at 2-2.
The game was tied at 92 with about five minutes left when Beal – who led Washington with 31 points – drew his sixth foul on a play in which he and DeMar DeRozan collided while Toronto had the ball. Beal raced along the sideline, put his hands on his head, then returned to the Wizards’ bench area and threw a red towel before being restrained by teammates.
The Raptors went up by two, but Wall pulled the Wizards even with a layup that drew a goaltending call, then put the hosts in front to stay by feeding Markieff Morris for a layup off the glass. As the final seconds ticked away, Wall held up two fingers on each hand. Yep, it’s 2-2, and the home team has won every game so far.
Toronto will host Game 5 on Wednesday.
DeRozan started 0-for-6, before winding up with 35 points, six assists and six rebounds. Kyle Lowry scored 19 points for Toronto.
The Raptors led by as many as 12 in the second quarter and were up 51-40 at halftime, led by DeRozan’s 15 points. Washington shot only 34 percent in the half, including 1-for-7 on threes.
Washington’s Otto Porter Jr, 0-for-4 with one point in the first half, scored eight in the first 3.5 minutes of the third quarter, including a pair of threes, helping Washington eliminate what had grown to a 14-point deficit. He and Beal drove the hosts’ offense, and when the latter hit a three midway through that period – his fourth make on four tries from beyond the arc up to then – Washington held their first lead of the evening, at 66-65.
The Wizards hit 5-of-6 tries on 3-pointers in the third quarter and matched their first-half output by scoring 40 in the period, which ended at 80 all.
Toronto scored the first eight points of the final quarter, but Washington quickly responded, and it went back and forth the rest of the way.
Raptors: Now 0-4 all time in Game 4 when up 2-1; have never led a playoffs series 3-1 … Starter OG Anunoby limped off late in the second quarter with what appeared to be a right-ankle problem after Wizards C Martin Gortat landed on him under Washington’s basket. Anunoby returned after halftime … Backup PG Fred VanVleet sat out yet again with an injured right shoulder. VanVleet has appeared for only three minutes in this series, all in Game 2.
Wizards: Won their eighth consecutive playoffs home game; only the Golden State Warriors, with 11 home wins in a row, have a longer active streak … Wall entered Game 4 averaging 26.7 points and 12.7 assists in the series. He could become only the third player in NBA history to put up 25 points and 10 assists per game in multiple postseasons, joining Oscar Robertson and Russell Westbrook.
There were none of the sort of contretemps that marked Game 3, when Morris tangled with Anunoby and shoved an official less than three minutes in – drawing a $25,000 fine from the NBA on Saturday – and, later, Wall and Serge Ibaka got in each other’s faces until a Wizards security guard got involved.
Wizards coach Scott Brooks, a point guard in the league in the 1990s, joked about how heated things got.
”I don’t know if that would be considered a fight when I played,” Brooks said. ”It was maybe a modern-day millennial fight.”
Game 5 is at Toronto on Wednesday night.