Bradley Beal, Wizards spoil Raptors’ return to Canada
Bradley Beal scored 23 points and the visiting Washington Wizards defeated the Toronto Raptors 98-83 on Wednesday night in the season opener for both teams.
Montrezl Harrell added 22 points and nine rebounds off the bench for the Wizards, who led by as many as 29 points during the third quarter.
Spencer Dinwiddie added 13 points for Washington and Kyle Kuzma had 11 points and 15 rebounds.
Fred VanVleet and Scottie Barnes each had 12 points for the Raptors and OG Anunoby had 11 points and 10 rebounds.
The Wizards led by 22 points after three quarters, but the Raptors scored the first seven points of the fourth quarter.
Deni Avdija’s tip-in after a Beal miss had the Wizards ahead by 19 points with 5:17 remaining. Anunoby answered with two 3-pointers to cut the lead to 13.
Barnes made a layup and a free throw with 2:30 to play, cutting the lead to 10. Harrell’s layup got the lead back to 15 with a layup.
Opening night DUB!!! pic.twitter.com/4Ks76JeyGi
— Bradley Beal (@RealDealBeal23) October 21, 2021
It was the first game for the Raptors at Scotiabank Arena since Feb. 28, 2020. The Raptors played all home games last season in Tampa because of COVID-19 restrictions in Canada.
The Wizards led 26-18 after one quarter.
Washington took a 12-point lead with 7:12 left in the second quarter when Daniel Gafford made a layup and a free throw. Raul Neto’s steal and running reverse layup put Washington ahead by 20 points with 3:47 left in the first half.
The Wizards led 57-27 at halftime with Beal scoring 13 points. Washington shot 48.9 percent in the first half and Toronto shot 30 percent from the field.
Beal made two free throws with 7:37 remaining in the third quarter and Washington led by 25 points. Harrell’s dunk bumped the lead to 29 with 3:53 to go in the third.
Chris Boucher’s 3-pointer with 1:13 left cut the lead to 24 points. Toronto’s Dalano Banton beat the buzzer with a 48-footer to end the third quarter with Washington leading 81-59.
The Raptors were without Pascal Siakam, who is recovering from shoulder surgery.