Even though the Toronto Raptors have won six consecutive regular-season games against the Washington Wizards, they remember what happened last spring all too well.
Toronto lost in four straight games to Washington in the first round of the playoffs — and the Raptors can't forget it.
DeMar DeRozan scored 21 of his season-high 35 points in the second half of the Raptors' 97-88 victory over the Wizards 97-88 on Friday night, the kept referring to the postseason embarrassment.
"I wouldn't necessarily say it's a rivalry but more of, I was here during the playoffs and that was a bad feeling to get swept and coming back here just playing against them gives you that same reminder of what happened," he said.
DeRozan and his backcourt mate, Kyle Lowry, who had 21 points and 10 assists, did most of the damage.
Lowry watched as DeRozan scored 11 in the third quarter and 10 in the fourth.
"He could go 0 for 20, but at the end of the day we're still going to keep feeding the ball, feeding the ball, and we want him to take those shots that we know he can make," Lowry said.
The Raptors overcame a season-high 23 turnovers, taking control with an 18-4 run that gave them a 69-59 lead with 2:40 to play in the third quarter.
John Wall scored 21 points as Washington lost for the fifth time in six games.
"The last three games, we take periods of games and we take shortcuts. We try to take easy ways out. We don't make hustle plays," Wizards coach Randy Wittman said.