Raptors send a message

Raptors' Chris Bosh laughs it up during action against the Wizards at the ACC on Wednesday. SUN...

Raptors' Chris Bosh laughs it up during action against the Wizards at the ACC on Wednesday. SUN MEDIA/Dave Abel

FRANK ZICARELLI -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 9:43 AM ET

In both the literal and figurative sense, the Raptors were on the rebound.

A night after getting crushed on the boards by an undermanned and relatively un-heralded Washington Wizards team, the Raptors were able to protect their basket and their home court in the process.

Even though they prevailed, 122-83, the Raptors can look back at their rare back-to-back, home-and-home set with Wizards as a missed opportunity, given the depleted roster Washington fielded on Tuesday.

On paper, last night should have represented a sweep against a team the Raptors might face in the post-season.

Instead, it was a split, punctuated by last night's rout, a 39-point victory that tied the franchise record in terms of margin of victory.

Where the likes of Andray Blatche and Dominic McGuire were carving the Raptors in the paint in Toronto's debacle in D.C., neither was a factor on a night when the Wizards disappeared quickly and meekly.

This wasn't so much a case of whether the Raptors would win, but by how much. That's how lopsided the evening would turn as garbage time came early.

Every player who saw the court for the Raptors contributed, every possession seemed to produce an open look as the onslaught erupted.

"It was very important we bounced back," Jamario Moon said in the aftermath of the dismantling of the Wizards. "We didn't rebound, we didn't protect the ball, we didn't play with any energy in Washington.

"We had to come out (in last night's return game) with a different mind-set and it was a game we had to have."

The Raptors, who yielded 19 offensive rebounds in their 108-104 loss in overtime on Tuesday, controlled the paint last night and just about every spot on the floor.

Instead of turning the ball over, the Raptors were forcing turnovers, knocking down shots and basically were able to do anything they wanted on a night the home side never trailed.

"We might be seeing this team again down the road," Maceo Baston said. "It was important we send a message. Everyone knew we didn't play our best in Washington."

Baston got a chance to play in the blowout, as did every reserve. Carlos Delfino and Rasho Nesterovic keyed the second unit as Toronto's bench produced 73 points.

The Raptors went 13 of 18 from beyond the arc and finished by shooting close to 57% from the floor.

"We are happy, but we're still upset we lost (on Tuesday)," Jose Calderon said after his 11-assist, one-turnover night was neatly in the books. "We have to play like this (last night) every night.

"To me, it doesn't matter if we win by 30 or one. We just want to win."

Andrea Bargnani played with more confidence and his decision-making with the basketball looked much improved, even if it did come against a disinterested Wizards team that barely put up a fight.

"We rebounded the ball better," he said. "We shared the ball and passed the ball inside."

Be it inside or on the perimeter, the Raptors torched the Wizards at will.


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