WASHINGTON — Pascal Siakam sat at his locker after Friday night's loss, holding an ice pack on a bloody, stitched-up lower lip.
Trailing Toronto 2-0 in their the opening-round playoff series, the Washington Wizards came out swinging Friday night. Siakam's lip, with three stitches thanks to what he believed was an errant Kelly Oubre elbow, spoke of just a little bit of the carnage.
"They came out and punched us and we allowed them to," coach Dwane Casey summed it up.
Bradley Beal and John Wall scored 28 points apiece and the Wizards roughed up Toronto 122-103, cutting the Raptors' lead in their first-round playoff series to 2-1.
The Raptors, meanwhile, couldn't hang onto the ball, coughing up 28 points on 19 turnovers, the result of both their own sloppy passes and the Wizards' stingy defence.
"That's the ball game," a surly Casey said. "Some of it was self-inflicted, making passes that weren't there, soft passes. But a lot of it was their intensity. We knew they were going to come out in a desperate mode, I thought we met it in the first quarter, but after that we didn't."
DeMar DeRozan scored 23 points to lead the Raptors on a chippy night, while Kyle Lowry had 19. Jonas Valanciunas finished with 14 and OG Anunoby had 12.
The Raptors, who were swept by Washington on the same court in the opening round of the 2015 playoffs, never led by more nine points, falling behind for good early in the second quarter. And when Ty Lawson drilled a three with less than a second left in the third, it sent the Wizards into the fourth with a 101-82 advantage.
The Raptors pulled to within 13 points on a three-pointer by Lowry with 7:06 left to play, but any hopes of a comeback were short-lived, and by the time Mike Scott sank a wide-open three with 3:06 to play, the Wizards were back up by 19 points, and Casey subbed off his starters.
"We didn't take care of the ball at all, and that was the game. They fed off that," DeRozan said. "They got out in transition. . . and it killed us. We gotta understand they're going to come out aggressive and play passing lanes and be more physical. That's what they did and we weren't prepared for it and next thing you know we've got 10 turnovers."
They also let the Wizards shoot 55 per cent, Beal and Wall shooting 22-for-42 combined.
"They're both all-star talents," Lowry said. "Brad got off and played well, John got himself going. (Marcin) Gortat got some easy ones, Mike Scott got easy ones. But John and Brad are the heads of the snake, and we've got to cut them off."
The game was heated from the opening tipoff, a scuffle breaking out before the game was even three minutes old. Anunoby and Markieff Morris received matching technical fouls.
Lowry was assessed a Flagrant 1 foul for smacking Beal on the head on his way to a layup.
Then a second, more heated, scrap broke out in the third when Beal tried to swat the ball away from Valanciunas. Wall hollered something to Serge Ibaka, who lunged at the guard and had to be held back. Technicals were handed out to Beal, Wall and Ibaka, who managed just three points on the night.
"I just told (Ibaka) to get his hands off people's faces — he was just pointing his hands in everybody's face," Wall said. "And he went into a little rage."
The Raptors shrugged off the flared tempers as playoff basketball.
"Ain't nobody fighting out here," Lowry said. "It got physical but ain't nobody fighting. It's a heated moment but that's the game of basketball. It gets competitive, we know what it is."
"They played the way you're supposed to play a playoff game, physical, aggressive, into you," added Casey.
Game 4 is on Sunday in Washington, then the series goes back to Toronto for Game 5 on Wednesday.
The Raptors won the series opener 114-106, then took Game 2, 130-119, but expected a fierce fight from a Wizards team that was down 2-0 to Boston in last season's playoffs before clawing back to tie the series.
The Wizards still caught the Raptors on their heels, to the dismay of the small pockets of Toronto fans dotting Capital One Arena. The arena was a sea of red and white, thanks to a T-shirt giveaway. The shirts were laid out to spell "Rep DC."
"The biggest thing was we were down 2-0. If that's not a wakeup call in itself, we don't deserve to be here," Beal said. "Everybody was locked in from shootaround, the last couple of days, actually.
"We came out tonight with an edge about ourselves."
The Wizards' bravado grew with each big play. Wall raised his arms to fire up the crowd.
"They were celebrating, they were hyped up, they were playing hard, they were doing it all and we kinda, I don't know, lost our momentum," Valanciunas said. "Now we've just gotta learn from this. Now we know what to expect on Sunday, how they're going to play at home."
The Raptors dominated the game's first few minutes, racing out to a 27-18 lead. But after Casey subbed off most of his starters, the Wizards closed the quarter with a 12-2 run, finally bringing a quiet Wizards crowd to life. The Wizards took a 30-29 advantage into the second.
Beal's hook shot with three minutes left in the second put the Wizards up by 12 points, and Washington took a 69-61 lead into the dressing room at halftime.
The Wizards outscored Toronto 32-21 in the third, taking a 22-point lead when Lawson drained two free throws with 1:16 left in the frame.