Preview: Raptors at Wizards
The Toronto Raptors have played well since acquiring Rudy Gay and the Washington Wizards have excelled since John Wall returned. The two teams meet Tuesday in Washington, aiming to resume their recent improvement. Toronto is 5-2 since acquiring Gay from the Memphis Grizzlies in a three-team deal that also included the Detroit Pistons. Washington is 10-8 since Wall returned from a knee injury. The visiting team has won the last nine games in the series.Toronto won its last four games prior to the All-Star break, including an impressive win over the Knicks in New York. The Raptors are just 7-19 on the road and will have to improve on that mark to make a late run at an Eastern Conference playoff spot. Washington lost to Detroit in its final game before the break to end a four-game winning streak. The Wizards have the third-worst record in the NBA. Washington is 11-14 at home.TV: 7 p.m. ET, Sportsnet One (Toronto), Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic (Washington)ABOUT THE RAPTORS (21-32): Gay is averaging 20.7 points, 6.3 rebounds and 2.7 assists since joining Toronto. Backup forward Alan Anderson is in line for more playing time after pouring in 26 points in the win over the Knicks. Rookie guard Terrence Ross is basking in the flow of winning the All-Star slam dunk contest but averages less than 17 minutes of playing time. Ross averages 6.4 points and displayed the athletic ability that led to him going eighth overall in last June's draft while winning the dunk contest.ABOUT THE WIZARDS (15-36): Wall has been playing terrific basketball and is averaging 16.7 points and nine assists over the past six games. Washington was short on athletes while Wall was sidelined and his return has turned guard Jordan Crawford into a non-entity. Crawford was Washington's best player in December and hasn't played in any of the last three games and hasn't scored in double digits since Jan. 25. Crawford's average is 13.2 despite the recent downsizing of his role.BUZZER BEATERS 1. Tuesday's game is the first of four meetings between now and April 3. The teams split four meetings last season.2. Washington has held 10 straight opponents under 100 points.3. Raptors F Amir Johnson had blocked at one least shot in 13 consecutive contests.PREDICTION: Wizards 99, Raptors 97.
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