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Raptors take series, end Wizards' season in Game 6
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The Wizards’ 2017-18 season came to an end on Friday night, with the Raptors took the series 4-2 with a 102-92 win in Game 6.
Bradley Beal led the Wizards with 32 points, while John Wall added 23 points and eight assists. The Wizards were without Otto Porter Jr., who had surgery on Friday on his left leg, and struggled to fill his void.
After the Wizards scored 20 points in the first 4:35 of the game, the team struggled to make shots and get the offense going. The Wizards would finish with only 12 assists in the game, with Wall dishing out eight of them. Washington finished 32-of-79 (40.5%) from the field overall, 8-of-22 (36.4%) from deep, and 20-21 (95.2%) from the free throw line.
Kyle Lowry led the Raptors with 24 points and eight Toronto players scored seven or more points. DeMar DeRozan was mostly held in check, scoring 16 points on 6-of-18 shooting. Toronto dominated the paint, winning the battle down low 56-32. The Raptors only turned it over seven times, while the Wizards had 14 turnovers for 17 Raptors points.
Washington maintained a steady lead the majority of the game, entering the fourth quarter with a 78-73 lead. The switch flipped in the fourth, as the Raptors closed out the Wizards by winning the final period 29-14. Washington only shot 4-of-16 (25.0%) from the field, gave up eight offensive rebounds, and turned it over four times for nine Raptors points in the final 12 minutes.
“Some of the things that happened in the fourth quarter have been happening throughout the year," Scott Brooks said postgame. "We just had trouble scoring, making shots, we turned the ball over, we gave up offensive rebounds. They were making shots. We didn't have a good shooting game, take away that first quarter. In that fourth quarter, I thought it all started with the first play. We had a chance to score in that first play and did not execute the right way. Like I said, give them credit. They played hard, their bench is really good.
In the end, the Raptors’ depth paid dividends and Fred VanVleet’s return was pivotal to Toronto’s win. Their defense suffocated the Wizards, with the Raptors’ bench making big play after big play.
“A loss is a loss regardless of how you lose," Beal said after the loss. "That will be the biggest thing. We lost games in a variety of ways, turnovers, rebounds, 50-50 balls, defensive stops, scoring late in games."
The 2017-18 season has now concluded for the Wizards, who will go into the offseason with much of their roster in-tact for next season. Wall (27 years old), Beal (24), and Porter (24) are still a young core, and it will be interesting to see how the offseason is approached.
"We started the season not where we wanted to be," Brooks said. "Markieff [Morris] was out with his hernia surgery and missed a handful of games. John [Wall] missed half the season. But we fought and we made the playoffs. We made the eighth seed. Sometimes you just squeak in, and you got to play the best, hottest team in basketball like Toronto was. And then Otto's injury happened at the wrong time also. But give them credit. I don't know if any of that would have changed. The message was you guys have had a great year, we're not where we want to be, and we just got to stay together and keep improving over the summer.”