The Wizards (14-16) assumed responsibility for their rebounding woes. But Coach Randy Wittman and some of his players attributed poor officiating for part of the reason why Washington was called for 27 personal fouls against Toronto’s 16.
“That wasn’t all our fault,” Wittman said. “I ain’t going to say anything about the whistle, but some of that was ridiculous.”
The Wizards adamantly disagreed with several rulings throughout the contest. There was a clear-path foul in the first quarter on Wall for tripping DeMar DeRozan on a fast break and an out-of-bounds ruling in the fourth that required a jump ball to determine possession, and others.
But no disputed call was more pivotal than when Wall, who had been assessed a technical foul for knocking the ball out of an official’s hand in frustration a couple minutes earlier, was whistled for a shooting foul on DeRozan with 47 seconds remaining and Toronto leading 90-88. Wall thought he had a clean block and instead of a fast-break opportunity for the Wizards, DeRozan went to the line to make the final two of his 15 free throws. After the game, both Wall and Wittman suggested they believed the ruling was incorrect, and Wittman speculated that Wall’s technical foul may have played a role in the call going against him.
“Man, I’m used to it by now,” said Wall, who finished with 19 points, 11 assists and seven rebounds in 41 minutes. “Just play basketball. We can’t let the refs dictate it. They made some tough calls that put us in situations where I felt like we played good defense and had an opportunity to get out on the break and have a chance to win. But we didn’t compete the whole game and we never should’ve put ourselves in that position.”
Toronto, however, also skillfully drew fouls with pump fakes frequently, especially DeRozan, who went a perfect 15 of 15 from the free-throw line.
“Well, you get frustrated right then and there. It’s the nature of your emotions but you move on,” Wizards forward Jared Dudley said. “To be honest with you, at the beginning of the game there were a couple calls where I hit it out of bounds and they gave it to us. So you hope the calls even out over the course of time. I thought John, he blocked him, maybe he didn’t at the end. I know I held [Jonas] Valanciunas at the end and they didn’t call that. I don’t ever really blame stuff on refs but we had out opportunities.”
Of the nine Wizards who stepped on the floor, every player was assessed at least two fouls except for Ramon Sessions, who didn’t get called for one, and Garrett Temple fouled out.
“Different powers helped them win the game today,” Wizards center Marcin Gortat said.
The Wizards are back at Verizon Center Friday to host the Orlando Magic (19-13). Orlando will be fresh off a 100-93 victory over the Brooklyn Nets Wednesday.