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Wizards break losing spell with Raptors romp

(Reuters) - At the ninth time of asking, the Washington Wizards finally earned their first victory of the season with a surprisingly comfortable 93-78 home triumph over the Toronto Raptors on Tuesday.

After opening the season with a record run of eight consecutive losses, the Wizards finally put a number in the win column with a performance built on a second quarter in which they outscored the Raptors 29-14.

Nick Young scored 15 points and Rashard Lewis added the same amount in a rare outing off the bench for the Wizards (1-8), who led by 19 after three quarters and coasted to the finish line.

Lewis was a part of a line-up change that also saw former starter Andray Blatche play a reserve role.

"If it takes me coming off the bench, as long as we are playing like this, I don't have a problem with doing that role," Blatche told reporters after finishing with nine points and eight rebounds.

"It's all about winning and making steps. Tonight, we definitely made a step and did a lot of great things on defense and shot the ball really well."

Washington's dreadful start had included several blowout losses and they were booed by their home crowd during a 21-point defeat to Minnesota on Sunday.

The team's woeful run increased speculation of coach Flip Saunders losing his job with every passing defeat but the Wizards finally found a scoring balance and shot 48 percent from the floor against Toronto.

Despite trailing 20-17 after the first quarter, Washington kicked on in the second and left the Raptors behind.

Playing on consecutive nights after beating Minnesota on Monday, Toronto looked flat and shot just 39 percent from the floor.

"We're coming off back-to-back games and had too many turnovers, which you really can't come back from," Toronto coach Dwane Casey said. "We knew they were a hungry team and were going to come out fighting."

Andrea Bargnani had a team-high 22 points to continue his strong start for the Raptors (4-6). He entered the night averaging 23.7 points per game this season.

(Writing by Jahmal Corner in Los Angeles; Editing by John O'Brien)

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