For the second straight game to open the season, Brooks’s team finished minus-15 in rebounding. Brooks had been ejected for arguing with official James Williams with 7:04 left in the fourth quarter after a no-call when Wizards point guard John Wall drove the lane and had the ball stripped. Wall pleaded his case to the officials, and Brooks joined the discussion in a manner that led to his ejection.
Wizards guard Bradley Beal was assessed a technical foul as well in front of an announced crowd of 16,185.
“Quite honestly I set a poor example,” Brooks said. “Disappointed in myself. I’ve got to be able to be better than that and not worry a call or a few calls and just focus. [The officials] got their job, and I’ve got my job, and players have their job. I’ve got to do a better job, and it’s something we’ve been talking about, and hopefully it won’t happen again.”
Washington (0-2) got within 113-111 with 58 seconds to play on Wall’s three-point play in which he made a layup and drew a foul. Wizards guard Otto Porter Jr. got a hand on an inbounds pass moments later, but Fred VanVleet bailed out Toronto by collecting the loose ball and sinking a jumper with 13 seconds to go.
Porter was part of some controversy in the closing seconds when he pinned a shot on the backboard. Officials initially ruled goaltending but waved it off as a clean block.
There were 4.5 seconds left on the shot clock, but when the Raptors controlled the ball on the ensuing jump ball at midcourt, it was unclear why the shot clock reset.
The Wizards again played without ailing center Dwight Howard, who continues to work on his fitness as he deals with muscle discomfort in his lower body that kept him out the entire preseason.
Beal led the Wizards with 32 points, making 6 of 11 three-pointers, and had six assists. The all-star guard’s fifth three-pointer elevated him to first in that category in franchise history, surpassing Gilbert Arenas.
Wall chipped in 25 points with six assists and four steals but also four turnovers.
“I don’t know, man,” Beal said of the officiating. “We try not to get emotional. I thought we did a good job of staying poised the whole game, but some stuff just gets out of hand. I disagree with the call on John. He got tripped. The ref told me I ran up on him, so he called tech, so I guess he felt threatened.
“Next thing I know, Coach Brooks is gone.”
Brooks watched the rest of the game from the locker room and afterward pointed out a failure to gather rebounds at critical junctures in the fourth quarter.
One such sequence unfolded when Raptors forward Serge Ibaka gather consecutive offensive rebounds, the second leading to a three-pointer by guard Kyle Lowry. The Raptors all-star guard finished with 28 points and 12 assists.
A 20-9 run to close the third quarter pushed Toronto in front, 90-82, with Washington’s second unit offering little defensive resistance nor providing much in the way of scoring.
VanVleet was particularly bothersome to the Wizards in that stretch, puling up for a jumper and sinking a three-pointer that produced a 90-80 lead until Tomas Satoransky made a pair of free throws shortly before Brooks’s ejection.
“We got our ass kicked,” Beal said of a 52-37 rebounding deficit one game after the Wizards were outrebounded by the Miami Heat, 55-40. “That’s two games in a row. If we want to play small, we’ve got to box out.”
In a bizarre scheduling quirk to start the season, the Wizards faced a second straight opponent playing the second leg of a back-to-back. Washington lost to the Miami Heat, 113-112, in Thursday’s opener at Capital One Arena after the Heat had played the night before in a 104-101 los to the Orlando Magic.
Toronto arrived in the District following Friday night’s 113-101 victory over the Boston Celtics, among the preseason favorites to represent the Eastern Conference in the NBA Finals.
Both the Wizards and Raptors fancy themselves contenders in the East as well, although this season’s group in Toronto has undergone major alterations, starting with a new coach in Nick Nurse. The former Raptors assistant replaced former boss Dwane Casey, who was fired after the Raptors lost in the playoffs.
Casey was selected NBA coach of the year in voting by his peers, but Toronto, the No. 1 seed in the East, got swept in the conference semifinals courtesy of the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Also prominent was the addition of Leonard, one of the top two-way players in the world. The 2014 NBA Finals MVP came to the Raptors in deal that included sending all-star guard DeMar DeRozan to San Antonio.
Leonard, however, had the night off against the Wizards, who lost their first-round playoff series last season to Toronto in six games.
Playing on short rest without their two-time all-star, the Raptors still managed to open a double-digit lead late in the first half before Washington rallied with 11 in a row, all with Wall either scoring or assisting.
His second assist during the run led to a four-point play by Porter, and the Wizards trailed at halftime, 57-54.
“That fourth quarter, just watching it, we were giving up some offensive rebounds again,” Brooks said. “I think they had like six, or seven or eight. I don’t know. I lost count, and they were small, and we were small. We’ve got to rebound. If it’s a two-game season, then we had a bad year, but it’s not.
“We’ve got a lot of basketball left. We’re close.”
Read more on the Wizards: