Toronto Raptors

Five takeaways from a thriller between the Toronto Raptors and Washington Wizards

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Kyle Lowry (NBA Getty Images)

No Kawhi, no problem.

Following an impressive victory against the Boston Celtics on Friday, the Raptors traveled to Washington on Saturday to take on John Wall's Wizards in their first away game of the young season. It was a back-and-forth affair, but Toronto took control in the fourth and pushed their record to 3-0.

With that in mind, here are five takeaways from another thrilling Raptors victory...

Kyle Lowry is in midseason form

Lowry led the way for the Raptors with his first double-double of the season. Most of his assists came in the first half and he did most of his scoring down the stretch, coming up with 13 points over a five minute period in the fourth quarter.

One of those buckets came in the form of a clutch 3-pointer with 2:59 to go:

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Sure Not Now

Lowry also made a couple of big plays on defence, none more important than the charge he drew on Bradley Beal after the Wizards All-Star started to heat up in the fourth.

Last season's leader in charges drawn, Lowry has now drawn four offensive fouls in three games (!) this season.

All in all, another impressive all-around performance from Lowry.

Fred VanVleet is clutch

VanVleet didn't take a shot in the first half. He then had his fingerprints all over the third quarter with seven points and two assists, followed by the last four points of the game for the Raptors.

The final points iced the game. The two before that? The shot of the game.

VanVleet finished with 13 points, five assists and four rebounds.

Raptors fans already know it, but having him come off the bench is a huge luxury for this team.

The Wizards need some help on the glass

Rebounding was - once again - the story of the night for the Wizards.

After giving up 22 offensive rebounds to the Miami Heat on their season opener, the Wizards saw the Raptors pull down 14 offensive rebounds. Toronto turned those opportunities into 17 second chance points, which, in a game that was decided by four points, is quite a lot - especially when one of them set up a big triple by Lowry.

If there's one area Dwight Howard will help the Wizards when he's healthy enough to play, it's on the boards. Howard finished behind only four players last season with 9.3 defensive rebounds per game.

His debut can't come soon enough for the 0-2 Wizards.

Turnovers were sort of a problem

If you're looking for something the Raptors didn't do well in this one, look no further than how they took care of the ball.

Toronto committed 17 turnovers and Washington took full advantage by outscoring them 30-16 in points off of turnovers.

Lowry had a team-high four turnovers, but Norman Powell had three and Serge Ibaka, Pascal Siakam and CJ Miles each had two.

The Raptors were fortunate that it didn't come back to bite them.

A night to remember for Bradley Beal

It probably would've been sweeter had it come in a win, but Beal became the franchise's all-time leader in 3-pointers made on Saturday, a record previously held by Gilbert Arenas.

Beal made this game interesting in the fourth quarter, too. The Wizards trailed 104-93 with 5:48 to play and Beal went on a personal 10-2 run to pull Washington within striking distance.

It just ... wasn't quite enough.

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