Leonard scores 27 points as Raptors rout Wizards 125-107
TORONTO (AP) — The Toronto Raptors turned in their best 3-point shooting performance of the season. The Washington Wizards had one of their worst.
Kawhi Leonard had 27 points and 10 rebounds, Kyle Lowry scored 15 points and the Raptors won their fourth straight game, beating the Wizards 125-107 on Friday night.
OG Anunoby scored 15 points and Fred VanVleet had 13 as Toronto posted its third straight win over the Wizards and improved its NBA-leading record to 16-4.
Danny Green, Anunoby and VanVleet each made three 3-pointers as the Raptors converted a season-high 17 from long range. Toronto shot 43.6 percent (17 for 39) from behind the arc, its highest percentage of the season.
“When we get those games where we can shoot the ball well, it’s a big advantage,” said Lowry, who went 2 for 4 from distance.
Washington, in contrast, attempted a season-high 46 shots from long range, making nine. The Wizards were a season-worst 3 for 17 against Brooklyn on Nov. 16.
“We missed a lot of open ones and missed a lot of easy ones that probably should have went down,” Washington’s Bradley Beal said. “It just comes back to defending better. When that shot’s not working, we’ve got to get back to guarding and we didn’t do that.”
Beal scored 20 points and Otto Porter Jr. had 17 for the Wizards, who are 2-7 on the road.
Wizards guard John Wall, who scored 30 points in Tuesday’s win over the Clippers, shot just 5 of 13, going 1 for 7 from 3-point range. Wall scored 11 points and had a game-high 11 assists.
Toronto snapped a two-game losing streak at home, where it has won eight of 10. The Raptors also set a franchise mark for victories in the first 20 games of the season.
“I’m happy that I’m playing and we’re playing well,” Leonard said.
Wizards coach Scott Brooks called the Raptors “a well-oiled machine.”
“They’re hard to beat,” Brooks said. “You’ve got to really be on-point defensively because they have so many good 3-point shooters and ball-movers and smart basketball players.”
Leonard sat out to rest when the Raptors visited Washington on Oct. 20. Toronto won that game 117-113 thanks to a 28-point, 12-assist effort from Lowry.
“It’s definitely different with (Leonard) being out there,” Beal said. “He’s very aggressive. I think we could have made it a little bit tougher on him at times.”
The Raptors led 70-62 at the half. Washington took the lead with a 9-0 spurt to begin the third, but Toronto answered with a 10-2 run. Leonard scored 10 points in the third as the Raptors took a 101-87 lead into the fourth, the fourth time this season they’ve scored 100 or more through three quarters.
Wizards: C Dwight Howard (gluteal soreness) was inactive. ... Kelly Oubre Jr. shot 0 for 6 from 3-point range. ... The Wizards entered with a 4-15 record against Toronto over the past five years, its worst mark against any Eastern Conference opponent.
Raptors: Leonard started after sitting out Wednesday’s win at Atlanta, the second game of a back-to-back. ... F C.J. Miles returned after missing the previous five games because of a strained right adductor, while Anunoby returned after missing three games because of a sprained right wrist. ... Miles shot 1 for 7 from long range. ... Toronto’s high for points in a half this season is 71, set against the Los Angeles Lakers on Nov. 4. ... Toronto wore its white and gold City Edition uniforms for the first time this season. ... Rapper Drake, the Raptors’ global ambassador, attended the game.
BEATING UP BAD TEAMS
The Raptors are 10-0 this season against opponents with losing records.
Toronto has outscored its opponent in the opening quarter of four straight games. The Raptors are 12-1 when they lead after the first.
Beal praised the Raptors for having a roster stacked with adaptable players.
“The way their system is now, they just plug and go, no matter who is available or who’s not,” Beal said. “They have so many versatile guys who can play multiple positions. I think they play position-less basketball over there.”
Wizards: Host New Orleans on Saturday night.
Raptors: Host Miami on Sunday night.
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