TORONTO – Foul trouble and ankle injuries cost the Toronto Raptors a win in the longest game in franchise history.
Kyle Lowry finished with 18 points, 10 assists and nine rebounds in the Raptors’ 134-129 triple-overtime loss to the Washington Wizards on Thursday. The Toronto point guard played 54 minutes despite an ankle sprain in his 41st minute of play and eventually fouling out.
“We just ran out of time,” said guard DeMar DeRozan. “All we needed is one stop, one rebound, one bucket. We just couldn’t get it. They scored when they needed to, we scored when we needed to but we didn’t get a stop when we needed it.”
DeRozan scored 34 points for Toronto (32-26), and Greivis Vasquez had a season-high 26 points and eight assists off the bench. Still, it was the sting of having to play with a banged up Lowry in the extra sessions that hurt even more than Amir Johnson and Patrick Patterson fouling out for the Raptors.
At three hours 32 minutes, Thursday’s game became the longest in the Raptors history. The previous mark was a 137-136 triple-overtime loss to the Brooklyn Nets in London, U.K. on March 5, 2011 which lasted 3:22.
With Lowry limited by the ankle in each of the three extra sessions, John Wall stole the ball from Vasquez on back-to-back possessions with the game tied 127-127 in the third overtime, leading to four quick points by the Wizards (30-28) to give Washington a four-point lead.
Wall scored 31 points and nine assists and Marcin Gortat scored a career-high 31 points and grabbed 12 rebounds as the Wizards outlasted Toronto.
The Raptors were shorthanded throughout the second half of regulation in addition to the extra sessions. With 2:15 remaining in the second quarter, Terrence Ross stepped on the foot of a Wizard’s player and rolled his left ankle while being fouled on a layup attempt. He stayed in the game to make the free throws, but left with a little less than a minute remaining in the half and did not return.
The team felt his absence, especially on the defensive end of the floor.
“Losing Terrence Ross, you don’t miss something until you don’t have it,” Casey said. “He gives us one more defender, shot maker, and that was huge for us. Especially defensively, he was doing a good job and also gave us another defender to switch around on Wall.
“I liked the way the guys battled. I thought we were flat in the first half again. I liked the way we battled, even through the foul trouble and also with the injuries.”
DeRozan would get the Raptors within two with a pair of free throws, but a layup from Wall extended Washington’s advantage to four with 29 seconds on the clock.
“That’s got to be a nightmare,” Casey said of trying to stop Wall in the open court. “He’s one of the fastest guys with the ball in the league. Now you’ve got Gortat, one of the best screen and roll guys going down the lane, the best shooters in (Bradley) Beal and (Martell) Webster spotted up. They’re a lethal offensive team. We couldn’t make easy plays in the first half and I thought that dug us a hole a little bit and that made it tough for us in the second half.”
After a missed jumper from DeRozan with 24 seconds remaining, Garrett Temple clinched the victory on a free throw to put Washington up 134-129 with 21 seconds to go.
Johnson, Patterson and Lowry fouled out for the Raptors. Trevor Ariza and Gortat fouled out for the Wizards.
In a second overtime session with as many turnovers as field goals, Gortat calmly sank two free throws to put the Wizards ahead by two with 43 seconds remaining. DeRozan tied the game with 2.5 seconds remaining.
Beal scored as the buzzer sounded, but the bucket was waved off. Reviews confirmed that Beal did not get the shot off in time.
Ahead by two with 30 seconds remaining in overtime, Vasquez lost the ball to Wall who tied the game at 114 with 23 seconds remaining. Wall would block Lowry’s layup attempt as time expired to force a second overtime.
Back-to-back makes from Vasquez closed out Toronto’s scoring in regulation. Gortat tied the game at 106 with 5.2 seconds remaining and a layup by Lowry missed at the buzzer, forcing overtime.
DeRozan and Lowry combined to score 22 of Toronto’s 24 points in the third quarter. The Raptors trailed Washington 83-78 going into the fourth.
Toronto closed the half with a Lowry technical followed up by a DeRozan turnover. Washington took a 57-54 advantage into the break.
It was the second missed game for Washington’s Nene who is out with a sprained MCL.