Andrea Bargnani scored 18 points and Jose Calderon added 15 as the Toronto Raptors fended off the Washington Wizards 99-92 Sunday night.
With yet another fourth-quarter collapse looming, Toronto (18-35) rode clutch baskets from Amir Johnson and DeMar DeRozan and a strong showing from the foul line to win for just the third time in the last nine games. The win improved the Raptors to 2-2 on their five-game homestand.
DeRozan finished with 15 points and Johnson added 10 in a reserve role for Toronto, which shot 21-for-23 from the line — including an 11-for-12 showing in the pivotal final quarter.
Kevin Seraphin's career-high 16 points paced the Wizards (12-40), who have dropped 11 of 13 and are a dismal 5-21 away from Washington. John Wall added 13 points and 11 assists as the Wizards placed all five starters in double figures.
Up four at the break, Toronto held Washington in check throughout the third quarter thanks in large part to an aggressive stretch from DeRozan, who went 6-for-7 from the line in the period. Alan Anderson ended the quarter in style, knocking down a jumper at the horn as the Raptors entered the fourth ahead 71-61.
Anderson connected on a three-pointer early in the fourth to give Toronto a 13-point edge — its largest of the game — but Washington stuck around, closing to within six on a Jordan Crawford 18-foot jumper with just over five minutes remaining.
Wall then went back to work, hitting Seraphin for a two-handed dunk in traffic — Wall's 11th assist of the night — to make it an 89-86 game.
A Johnson dunk following a DeRozan miss — his second put back slam of the quarter — gave Toronto a five-point advantage on the ensuing possession, and DeRozan connected on a driving layup with 24.5 seconds left to put the game out of reach.
The Raptors prevailed despite shooting just 4-for-17 from beyond the arc and turning the ball over 13 times.
All five Toronto starters were on the scoresheet by the 6:30 mark of the opening quarter as the Raptors opened up a 16-8 advantage. A Bargnani turnaround jumper helped stem a Washington surge, and he finished the quarter with eight points as Toronto led 22-21 after one.
The game remained close until late in the second quarter, when Calderon buried a three-pointer and then fed Amir Johnson for a two-handed dunk as Toronto went ahead 43-34. Wall countered with an alley-oop dunk, a driving layup and consecutive feeds to Seraphin for uncontested slams, helping the Wizards trim the deficit to 46-42 at the break.
Notes: Washington big men Trevor Booker and Nene were both late scratches with foot injuries. Jan Vesely and Seraphin took their places in the starting lineup. ... Toronto finished 6-11 in March, marking its 10th consecutive losing month dating back to last season. The Raptors haven't finished at .500 or better since going 1-1 in October to open the 2010-11 campaign. ... Toronto wore its camouflage uniforms for the third time. The jerseys made their debut in a 94-82 home loss to the Chicago Bulls on March 21. ... Toronto shot just three free throws in the first half. ... The Raptors conclude their homestand Tuesday night against the Charlotte Bobcats