As much as John Wall’s 31 points or Nick Young’s 29 stood out in the Washington Wizards’ 111-108 overtime win against Toronto on Monday night, it was defense that carried the the team when it mattered most.
The Raptors failed to score a basket during the extra session, missing all eight of their attempts, including 0 for 3 from three-point range. Reserve forward-center Amir Johnson went 0 for 3 from the field, and starting guard Jerryd Bayless was 0 for 2 after collecting 16 of his team-high 30 points in the fourth quarter.
“Bayless got it going. [Linaas] Kleiza, what’d they both have, 30?” Wizards Coach Randy Wittman said while glancing at the box score during his postgame news conference. “Yeah, they did. I’m just throwing that number out there, and we covered them in overtime.”
Washington did break down defensively in the fourth quarter, allowing the Raptors to shoot 53 percent from the field. They scored 33 points in the final period and made 7 of 8 from the free throw line.
In the first half, though, the Wizards limited Toronto to 37 percent shooting. Bayless shot 3 for 9 with seven points in the first half, when Washington built a 57-42 lead.
For the game, Toronto shot 40 percent and committed 18 turnovers. The Wizards also blocked eight shots, including a pair from Wall against the 6-foot-9 Johnson in overtime.
“We could have folded, but we fought back,” Wall said. “We were able to make plays, force overtime and get the win.”