WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Jose Calderon is steadily becoming one of the top rookies in the NBA.
And the Raptors are steadily improving.
But all that went for naught last night as the Washington Wizards laid some capital punishment on their visitors from north of the border, dropping the Raptors 119-111 in overtime.
The heartbreaking loss, which ended Toronto's modest two-game win streak, overshadowed some good things done on offence by the Raptors' kids.
Calderon continued his outstanding play of late at point guard, picking up a career-high 13 assists, along with eight points and nine rebounds.
"I'm feeling more comfortable because I know my teammates better," said Calderon, who has started the last five games. "We just have to play harder in the last 2-3 minutes. But we will learn."
Chris Bosh had 27 points and nine boards. Bosh went to the free throw line 16 times, converting on 13. First-year forward Charlie Villanueva contributed 18 off the bench and starting small forward Morris Peterson also played well with 21 points and eight boards.
Peterson was the hero for a spell late in the fourth quarter. The sixth-year Raptor missed a three, gathered in his own rebound, moved to the corner and nailed a 23-foot jump shot to tie the game at 105-105 with five seconds left. Raptors coach Sam Mitchell nearly went berserk after that, claiming that the Wizards player stepped inbounds before calling a time out. The referees did not agree.
Unfortunately for the Raptors, the Wizards took control in OT, as Jarvis Hayes scored six while Antawn Jamison and Gilbert Arenas contributed four each as Washington out-scored Toronto 14-6 in extra time for the win, improving their record to 8-8. Toronto dropped to 3-16.
The game did not go quietly into the good night, however. Mitchell went nuts again with 25 seconds left in OT, screaming that Arenas should have been given a foul for charging Toronto guard Mike James. Again, there was no call and as the seconds ticked off, Mitchell stood on the sideline, giving referee Courtney Kirkland an earful, though he refused to dwell on the non-calls afterwards.
"I'm not going to talk about that kind of stuff, because it does us no good and I don't want my players thinking about it," Mitchell said. "I have no complaints other than we didn't get it done.
"We tried. Those guys are bumping their hump. Regardless of what our record is, I'm proud to be their coach," he added.
Jamison had a double-double, 26 points and 14 rebounds for the Wizards, as did Arenas, who had 10 assists and 37 points. Washington's starting guards, Arenas and Hayes, out-scored their Toronto counterparts, Calderon and James, 58-15.
The Wizards shot 50% from the field, Toronto 48% in a contest that was not exactly a defensive gem. The Raptors committed 16 turnovers, Bosh had five. The Raptors host L.A. Lakers at the Air Canada Centre tonight.