Injuries mount as Raptors take on Wizards

NBA

Already challenged with injuries, the Toronto Raptors will be dealing with two more to key players when they host the Washington Wizards on Friday night.

Marc Gasol and Norman Powell both were injured Wednesday night in a 112-99 road victory over the Detroit Pistons.

“It’s too bad,” said Raptors coach Nick Nurse, whose team was also missing guard Fred VanVleet. “A win with a heavy price, to be honest.”

Toronto might get VanVleet back for Friday’s game. He has a right knee contusion that has forced him to miss the past five games.

The Wizards are coming off a painful game of their own, a 110-109 overtime home loss to the Chicago Bulls after they wasted an 18-point fourth-quarter lead.

The Raptors will not have any sympathy for the Wizards, not after what they are going through.

Gasol left in the first quarter with a hamstring injury and Powell left in considerable pain in the fourth quarter with an injured left shoulder after he was hit by Blake Griffin on a screen. Gasol and Powell were scheduled for further testing Thursday to determine the extent of the injuries.

Powell also missed time last season with an injury to the same shoulder. He was wearing a sling after the game. Neither Gasol nor Powell talked to the media.

“It’s super concerning (for Powell),” Nurse said. “He looked like he was in a lot of pain. Both had been playing great. It’s not unlike Kyle (Lowry) and Serge (Ibaka) that were really in a groove when they went down a long time ago. And (Powell and Gasol) were really in a nice groove right now.”

The Raptors responded with some strong performances. Lowry, who missed 11 games this season with a fractured thumb, had 20 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists. It was his 15th career triple-double and his 13th as a Raptor.

Ibaka, who missed 10 games this season with a sprained ankle, replaced Gasol and had a season-best 25 points and added 13 rebounds.

“As a team we’re trying to get our rhythm back and now these guys go down,” Ibaka said. “They play good and then you go down. It’s nothing we can control. It’s the NBA.”

In Washington, the Wizards lost when Bradley Beal’s final shot bounced on the rim but did not go in.

“We’re showing signs that we’re doing the right things on the defensive end, but moments like (Wednesday), we have to be better,” said Beal, who had 22 points on 4-for-19 shooting from the field and also had seven assists with seven rebounds. “Execute down the stretch, and I’ve got to put it away. Plain and simple.”

Davis Bertans had 26 points for the Wizards, who were held to 13 points in the fourth quarter.

Anzejs Pasecniks scored nine points and grabbed eight rebounds in 28 minutes Wednesday in his NBA debut. Pasecniks signed a two-way contract Tuesday and became the Wizards’ backup center.

“He was terrific,” Wizardscoach Scott Brooks said. “He’s big at the basket, pretty good hands. He knows how to play, makes good passes, makes good reads.”

The 7-foot-1 Pasecniks, the 25th pick in the 2017 draft by the Orlando Magic, spent the past two seasons in the EuroLeague. His signing came after rookie Rui Hachimura suffered a groin injury that will sideline him for at least five games.

–Field Level Media

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