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Wizards look for split in Toronto
The Wizards try and even the series at 1-1 before heading back to D.C.
Air Canada Centre | 7:00 p.m. | NBCSW+/NBATV | 1500 AM
Wizards (0-1): G - Wall, G - Beal, F - Porter Jr., F - Morris, C - Gortat
Raptors (1-0): G - Lowry, G – DeRozan, F - Anunoby, F - Ibaka, C - Valanciunas
Raptors: Fred VanVleet (Shoulder - Questionable)
Wizards Look for Split
After falling 114-106 in Game 1 on Saturday, the Wizards will look to even up the series at a game apiece when they take on the Raptors in tonight's Game 2.
Saturday's win was the first time in Raptors franchise history they won a Game 1 in the first round of the playoffs.
The Raps got off to a quick start and jumped on Washington early, but the Wiz would fight back and took a four point lead into the half. The third quarter saw great back-and-forth action, which carried into the fourth quarter, when the Wiz took a 91-88 lead on a Keef Morris layup with 10 minutes left. But, the Raptors would close the game on 26-15 run and made the big plays in crunch time to capture the first game of the series.
Morris scored a playoff career-high 22 points to go along with his 11 boards and six assists. John Wall led the team with 23 points and 15 assists, but was just 3/13 inside the paint and missed some layups he normally finishes late in the game. Serge Ibaka led Toronto with 23 points in 8/11 shooting.
Defending the Perimeter
One of the biggest differences in Game 1 was the shooting from the perimeter, as the Raps doubled the Wizards with a franchise playoff best 16 made 3-pointers on 30 attempts. Seven different Raptors made at least one 3-pointer, led by reserve guard C.J. Miles who made four. The Wizards defended some of the 3's and those they will live with, but they gave the Raps a few too many open looks and it hurt them. It wasn't just Miles off the bench either, as their other reserve guard Delon Wright also made three triples to help their bench score 42 points compared to the Wizards' 21. The only Wizards' reserve to reach double figures was Mike Scott, who finished with 14.
How Will the Stars Respond
Trailing by four at the half, one of the key runs in Saturday's Game 1 was the first six minutes of the third quarter, when the Raps' All-Star backcourt of Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan scored or assisted on every bucket of the Raps' 15-6 run to open the second half. It was a key stretch of the game and one where the two of them put the team on their back and gave them a needed boost after an underwhelming first half. The Wizards' All-Star backcourt may need to carry this team to give them a needed road win tonight as many times teams rely on their stars on the road, while at home the can count on contributions from some more of the role players. Wall and Beal weren't bad in Game 1, but they can both play at a higher level and the Wiz may need that in order to split this series.
Game 3 will take place on Friday night in D.C. (8:00 P.M.)