Much of the Wizards’ recent struggles have come on the defensive side of the ball, but they were able to end a run of blowout losses to improve to 6-15, staving off a late push by the Bulls to win 105-101 and showing some semblance of the “dogged” energy that they’ve lacked for the majority of the year.
Bradley Beal matched Zach LaVine‘s explosive performance, scoring 35 points to hold his place as the NBA’s leading scorer as both continued to make their case for All-Star recognition. The Wizards will look to contain a Raptors squad that, despite being 11-13, have put together some impressive individual and team performances this year.
Here’s everything you need to know.
WIZARDS VS. RAPTORS HOW TO WATCH
What: Washington Wizards vs. Toronto Raptors
Where: Capital One Arena, Washington, D.C.
When: Wednesday, February 9, 7:00 p.m. ET
TV Channel: Wizards vs. Raptors will be broadcast on NBC Sports Washington (NBC Sports Channel Finder)
Live Stream: You can live stream Wizards vs. Suns on NBC Sports Washington’s live stream page and on the NBC Sports App.
Radio: Wizards Radio Network, 1500 AM
WIZARDS vs RAPTORS TV SCHEDULE
6:00 PM: Wizards Pregame Live (LIVE)
7:00 PM: NBA: Wizards vs. Raptors (LIVE)
9:30 PM: Wizards Postgame Live (LIVE)
WIZARDS vs RAPTORS WHAT TO WATCH
Bradley Beal was given the tall task of containing Zach LaVine on Monday, and while the Bulls guard went for 35 points, Beal matched him in scoring on the night. More importantly, his teammates stepped up to win their one-on-one matchups. Winning individual battles will be key to the Wizards success against the Raptors.
Capital One Arena is the fifth stop of a six-game road trip for the Raptors. So far, they’re 3-1 and a gritty comeback victory over the Grizzlies on Monday demonstrated that they have no intention of using travel as an excuse for poor performance. That said, they did give up an alarming 70 points in the first half, and the Wizards should be looking to pounce on any and all opportunities to jump out to an early lead.
The Raptors did lose All-Star point guard Kyle Lowry to back spasms in the first quarter, and his availability for Wednesday’s game is still unclear. But the last time they were missing Lowry, they posted a franchise record for scoring, with Fred VanVleet stepping up to score 34 points. They are dangerous in all conditions and the Wizards should be well aware of that going into the game.
WIZARDS vs RAPTORS PLAYERS TO WATCH:
Bradley Beal, SG, Wizards (33.3 ppg, 5.1 rpg, 4.5 apg) apg): Bradley Beal continues to shine despite the Wizards’ woes. He called his teammates out for their lack of gall in their blowout defeat to Charlotte. They responded against the Bulls. Fair or not, it’s clear he’ll have to continue to motivate his supporting cast, while also maintaining incredible production on the offensive side of the ball. His performance against Chicago indicated that he’s still up for it.
Fred VanVleet, PG, Raptors (20.7 ppg, 4.3 rpg, 6.4 apg): In the absence of Lowry, VanVleet has stepped up for the Raptors and finished with 32 points and nine assists to lift his team to victory in their last outing. The Raptors have asked more of the 26-year-old this year and he has put together some explosive performances in response, including a single-game scoring record for the franchise. Limiting his impact will be key to the Wizards picking up a seventh win.