2018 Playoffs: Game 6 Recap - Raptors 102, Wizards 92
IT WAS OVER WHEN
A layup from Kyle Lowry put Toronto ahead by 10 with 1:55 remaining. After trailing by five to open the fourth, the Raptors outscored Washington 29-14 in the final quarter to pick up a 102-92 victory and close out the series 4-2.
Sub-optimal start: Things did not go as the Raptors would have liked in the opening 12 minutes in Washington. Toronto shot just 35 percent in the first quarter, giving up 30 points to the Wizards, as they trailed by 10 after one. Mike Scott led all scorers with eight in the quarter while Bradley Beal added seven for the Wizards.
Settling in: The Raptors offence came alive in the second quarter, with Toronto shooting 62 percent from the floor while holding the Wizards to 44 percent shooting. Kyle Lowry had a strong second quarter effort, leading all scorers with 10 points. Washington shot just 1-for-7 from deep in the quarter, and allowed Toronto to close the half on an 11-4 run to trim a 10-point lead to three at the break.
Taking over: After a close third quarter where Washington outscored Toronto 25-23, the Raptors went into the fourth trailing by five. With the opportunity to close out the series on the road, and perhaps earn an extra day or two of rest, the bench went to work. The bench mob started the quarter and outscored Washington 14-7 to take a three-point lead before the first fourth-quarter substitutions for Toronto. Kyle Lowry, Jonas Valanciunas and DeMar DeRozan also played fourth quarter minutes and the combo of starters and reserves stepped it up on both ends of the floor, outscoring Washington 29-14 in the fourth.
RAPTORS PLAYER OF THE GAME
Kyle Lowry had 24 points in 32 minutes. He shot 9-for-15 from the floor, 3-for-7 from beyond the arc and 3-for-4 from the free throw line. He added six rebounds, six assists and two steals. All series, Lowry has brought it on both ends of the floor.
UNDERRATED RAPTORS PLAYER OF THE GAME
Fred VanVleet made his return to the floor and his impact was immediate. VanVleet played 19 minutes, scoring five points to go with four rebounds and four assists, but it was his presence more than his statline that made the difference. When VanVleet was on the floor, the Raptors were a +12. The only player with a better +/- was Pascal Siakam, who was +18, and Siakam was at his best when sharing the floor with VanVleet.
THAT'S A RAP...
"We want to enjoy it. Celebrate it until midnight. I told the guys, we've got bigger fish to fry. We still have some playoff series to go, hopefully. We've got to keep our mind on our business."
- Dwane Casey on the victory, and closing out the series
BY THE #'S
7... The Raptors only had seven turnovers in the game, leading to five points for the Wizards. In comparison, the Wizards turned the ball over 14 times, leading to 17 points scored by the Raptors.
47... Rebounds for the Raptors, 42 for the Wizards. Toronto also held a 16-11 edge on the offensive boards.
14... Points, 12 rebounds, two blocks for Jonas Valanciunas who set a franchise record for most playoff double-doubles in the previous Raptors' win.
56... Points in the paint for Toronto compared to 32 for the Wizards.
THEY SAID IT...
"In my humble opinion, he's the coach of the year."
- Washington head coach Scott Brooks on Dwane Casey and the job he's done with the Raptors this season
"It was great to have the full bench back, to have Freddie back out there with them guys. That was big, I think that changed the momentum for us once he came in the game, the way the bench played in the fourth quarter defensively and offensively. It's something that they've been doing all year, it was great for us to be able to see that, it was just a testament to what they did all year carrying over to the playoffs."
- DeMar DeRozan on the impact of Fred VanVleet
"I asked him, did you need Fred that badly? Does Fred mean that much to you? As soon as you put Fred in, Pascal just blossomed."
- Dwane Casey joking about the positive effect Fred VanVleet had on Pascal Siakam's game
"He's been fantastic. I think Coach has done a good job of making sure everyone gets their fair share of minutes when they earn them, and going with guys when they're rolling. There have been games when we haven't gone back in, or JV doesn't play in the fourth, or Lucas plays the fourth, or Delon. The overall confidence we have in our group, Coach has instilled in us that this is a team and it's not about individuals. It's about team success. It's the one thing he's consistency done: Preach team-first and hard work. We all appreciate the hard work each guy does in the gym. So when we're in this situation, if they're playing well and get a chance to play, they're going to play hard."
- Kyle Lowry with praise for Dwane Casey and how he's used the team's depth
The Raptors await the winner of the Indiana/Cleveland series, with Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals to be played at the Air Canada Centre, date and time TBD.