TORONTO — The Washington Wizards are winning big at both talking and playing.
John Wall had 26 points and 17 assists, Bradley Beal scored 28 points and the Wizards beat the Toronto Raptors 117-106 on Tuesday night to take a 2-0 lead in their first-round playoff series.
Marcin Gortat scored 16 points, Otto Porter had 15 and Paul Pierce added 10 for the Wizards, who host Game 3 on Friday night.
In a series that started with talk about Pierce’s criticism of Toronto’s talent, Beal fired another verbal salvo in a television interview at the end of the second quarter.
“They think that we’re some punks, they think they can push us around,” Beal said of the Raptors. “But we’re not rolling.”
They aren’t rolling over, but the Wizards may just be rolling into the second round.
Still, while they are comfortable talking trash, none of the Wizards want to get too comfortable with their series lead.
“We’ve got to play like we’re down 0-2,” Beal said of Game 3. “Nothing changes. We can’t stop being aggressive.”
Wizards coach Randy Wittman echoed Beal’s comments.
“It’s hard winning four games in a series,” Wittman said. “And as you continue to move on, the harder it gets. Game 3 on Friday is going to be harder to play in than these first two games. It just gets that way as the series moves on.”
Jonas Valanciunas had 15 points and 10 rebounds while Sixth Man Award winner Lou Williams and DeMar DeRozan each scored 20 points for the Raptors, who have lost four straight playoff games over the past two seasons.
“It’s far from over,” DeRozan said. “Our confidence is still high. All we’ve got to do is take it game by game.”
Patrick Patterson had 15 points and Amir Johnson added 10 for Toronto, which has won just one playoff series in six previous postseason appearances.
“Now it’s all about pride,” Johnson said. “We have to take it to Washington and get one and get some momentum.”
All-Star guard Kyle Lowry, who fouled out of Game 1 with seven points after missing eight of 10 shots, struggled again. Lowry limped to the locker room midway through the fourth quarter with a bruised left shin and did not return. He finished with six points on 3-of-10 shooting. The Raptors said Lowry will be re-evaluated Wednesday.
The Wizards connected on 27 of 39 field goal attempts in the second and third quarters.
Washington, which outrebounded Toronto 61-48 in Game 1, was dominant on the glass again. The Wizards finished with 45 rebounds while the Raptors had 28. Toronto didn’t get a single offensive rebound in the first half.
Toronto took a 12-2 lead and held a 31-26 edge after one quarter. DeRozan scored nine points in the first and Valanciunas had eight.
“They came out and took it to us in the first 3 or 4 minutes,” Wittman said. “Once I took that early timeout, we settled down.”
Just as they did in Saturday’s Game 1 win, the Wizards used a second-quarter surge to take the lead. Beal scored 16 points in the second, including a 3 that started a 13-0 run to put the Wizards up 60-49 at halftime.
“(Beal) got going because we lost him on transition defense,” Casey said.
The Raptors struggled after Lowry picked up his second and third fouls in an 11-second span and spent the final 9:18 of the half on the bench.
“That’s when we got in trouble,” Raptors coach Dwane Casey said.
The Raptors opened the third quarter with a 12-3 spurt, cutting the deficit to 63-61, but Washington responded with 10 straight points to restore its double-digit lead. Wall scored 10 points in the third as the Wizards took a 97-75 lead into the fourth, leading to boos from the Air Canada Centre crowd.