Reporting Frank Hanrahan
For the first time all season, the Wizards put it all together and it showed up with a much needed win, a 93-78 victory over Toronto Tuesday night at Verizon Center. The Wizards snapped a franchise worst eight game skid to start the season.
Wizards’ coach Flip Saunders benched Andray Blatche and Rashard Lewis and started Trevor Booker and Chris Singleton at the forward spots, and it paid off as Booker and Singleton combined for 17 points, 16 rebounds and four steals against the Raptors.
Saunders wanted to bring energy and defense from the jump and he got it. “Book and Singleton played really well together and defensively we got after it,” Saunders said. “We won the game because of our defense.”
The Wizards forced 23 Toronto turnovers to go with 12 steals, five from rookie Jan Vesely. “I think Vesely really changed the complexion of the game,” Saunders said. Vesely scored four points, both on dunks after steals.
For at least a game, the Wizards played with passion and stuck to the game plan that Saunders wanted. Good defense turned into easy points and they did. The Wizards scored 23 points off the 23 Toronto turnovers.
We had a good solid performance from a lot of players,” Saunders said. “We played as a team.”
Nick Young scored 15 points to lead the Wizards. “We needed a victory, and it felt good again to get a win,” Young said. “I hope that everyone will want to keep this spark going.”
The 1-8 Wizards visit the 9-2 Chicago Bulls Wednesday night.