Kuzma’s Late Heroics Lead Wizards to 112-109 Win vs. Raptors

Kyle Kuzma, Washington Wizards, NBA News, Toronto Raptors
Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

The Washington Wizards edged out the Toronto Raptors 112-109 during Saturday’s NBA action, exacerbating Toronto’s losing streak to ten games.

Deni Avdija‘s double-double and Kyle Kuzma‘s late-game heroics led the Wizards to their third two-game winning streak of the season, staving off the NBA’s worst record.

“I have trust in him, so we’re definitely putting the ball in his hands more,” interim coach Brian Keefe said of Avdija. “Some of it’s also his rebounding: It leads to him pushing in transition. But his ability to get downhill, get to the rim for himself and for others has been terrific.”

NBA NEWS & SCORES: Kyle Kuzma, Deni Avdija, Jordan Poole, Washington Wizards, Toronto Raptors Updates

Despite the Raptors’ efforts and a chance to tie the game with a buzzer-beating three-pointer, they fell short, continuing their longest losing streak of the season. The Raptors were notably handicapped, missing their top three scorers and reduced to just eight available players.

“I saw a lot of fight,” Raptors coach Darko Rajakovic said. “We missed a layup, we missed wide-open shots, we missed a dunk. Obviously guys, they want to make those shots. They want to make the right decisions there. It did not go our way tonight.”

Jordan Poole and Richaun Holmes notably contributed to the Wizards’ victory. Poole scored 14 of his 18 points in the fourth quarter, and Holmes grabbed a game-high 14 rebounds.

“It was a good win for us,” Poole said. “It was a scrappy game. Both teams played good. We both struggled for periods of time, but we managed to stay together through it all.”

NBA NEWS & SCORES: Kyle Kuzma, Deni Avdija, Jordan Poole, Washington Wizards, Toronto Raptors Updates

Gary Trent Jr.’s 31 points led the Raptors, with significant contributions from rookie Gradey Dick and Kelly Olynyk. The Wizards also welcomed back Marvin Bagley III, adding depth and versatility to their roster.

“It just gives us more size, versatility,” Keefe said of Bagley. “We always talk about the rebounding with Marvin but a little bit of scoring punch, so we’re thrilled to have him back.”

As the Wizards look ahead to a match against the Chicago Bulls and the Raptors set their sights on hosting the Brooklyn Nets, both teams aim to adjust and advance in their season pursuits.

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