Siakam scores career-best 44, Raptors beat Wizards 129-120
TORONTO -- Pascal Siakam isn't pleased to be taking it easy over All-Star weekend and took out his frustration Wednesday night.
"If he keeps playing like this, he's a 2020 All-Star," Wizards coach Scott Brooks said of Siakam.
Toronto's third-year forward was asked whether his big night was a message to those who passed him over for an All-Star spot this year.
"Take it as you want," Siakam said. "I wish I was going to Charlotte."
Newly signed Raptors guard Jeremy Lin said he was impressed with Siakam's diverse skill set.
"I knew he was good but tonight was something special," Lin said. "He showed the full package tonight."
Toronto improved to 13-3 without All-Star Kawhi Leonard, who sat for the second time in four games because of a sore left knee. Leonard also missed last Thursday's win at Atlanta. Coach Nick Nurse said he wouldn't mind if Leonard played in Sunday's All-Star Game.
Serge Ibaka had 10 points and 13 rebounds, and Kyle Lowry had 14 points and 13 assists as the Raptors used a big third quarter to overcome a 12-point deficit and post their fifth straight victory over the struggling Wizards.
"We're down right now," Brooks said. "We've got a lot of work ahead of us."
Down 103-93 to begin the fourth, Washington cut it to 112-111 on a 3-pointer by Bobby Portis with 4:55 left. Lowry replied with a 3 for Toronto, and Siakam made back-to-back baskets, putting Toronto up 119-111 at 3:44.
Toronto faced its biggest deficit, 80-68, at 8:48 of the third. The Raptors answered with a 15-0 spurt, reclaiming the lead at 83-80 before Washington called timeout at 4:43. Siakam scored 19 points in the third, and Toronto closed the quarter on a 35-13 run, taking a 103-93 lead into the final quarter.
Washington led 65-59 lead at halftime.
LINSANITY IN THE NORTH
Lin played 25 minutes in his Toronto debut after signing earlier in the day. He was recently waived by the Atlanta Hawks.
"I almost feel like I'm cheating, jumping into a 40-something win team," Lin said. "I'm happy to be here."
Lin received a brief ovation when he checked in for Norman Powell at 4:05 of the first. He finished with eight points, five assists and five rebounds.
"Even though I was trying to be stoic and figure out what we were going to do on the defensive end, it was very heartwarming," Lin said. "Every time I've come to Toronto, it's always felt like a home game."
Lin can expect plenty of action when play resumes after the All-Star break. Before the game, the Raptors said guard Fred VanVleet had surgery in New York to repair ligament damage in his left thumb. VanVleet, who was hurt in Saturday's win at New York, is expected to miss at least three weeks.
Wizards: G Tomas Satoransky was inactive because of personal reasons. ... The Wizards missed nine of their first 10 attempts from 3-point range. ... Washington is 7-23 on the road.
Raptors: F Patrick McCaw was inactive because of a sore right shoulder. ... Ibaka has scored at least 10 points in 20 straight games, the second-longest streak of his career. He did it in 21 games in 2014. ... Siakam made a career-best four 3-pointers, and Anunoby also had a season-high four.
THIS IS 40
Siakam is the 11th player in Raptors history to reach the 40-point plateau.
Wizards: Visit Charlotte on Friday, February 22.
Raptors: Host San Antonio on Friday, February 22.
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Copyright 2019 by The Associated Press
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