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Raptors defeat Wizards to win Game 1 in National Basketball Association playoffs

16 April, 2018, 01:46 | Author: Carla Brady
  • Making shots will be key in Game 1 for Kyle Lowry and the Toronto Raptors.
Winslow Townson  
AP

The closure, which took effect hours before the start of the first playoff game between the Toronto Raptors and Washington Wizards in Toronto, comes as the city is being slammed by freezing rain and ice pellets.

This isn't the Toronto Raptors team that hadn't won a National Basketball Association playoff opener in 17 years.

Not that they're overly excited about it.

Serge Ibaka top-scored for the Raptors with 23 points, although they had nine players who finished with at least nine points to their name. DeMar DeRozan added 17 points, and Kyle Lowry had 11 points and nine assists. The only Portland win over New Orleans with Boogie came in the Blazers' home opener, when Anthony Davis played only five minutes before bumping knees with Maurice Harkless and leaving the game. "They're a number-one seed for a reason", Brooks said.

"We knew what he had to do", Lowry told ESPN.

The Raptors were also asked to explain their streak of four consecutive home Game 1 losses. "We let a few of their guys that just can flat out shoot shoot a lot of threes".

"I always thought Serge was going to be the X-factor with his shooting when they double-team Kyle and DeMar", Casey said.

This looks like the most competitive first-round series in terms of team ability, as the Jazz had a better point differential (plus-4.3) than the Thunder (plus-3.4). That mark was the best in the Eastern Conference by a long shot.

Game 2 will be Tuesday night in Toronto.

All hope is not lost for Washington, though, as they went 2-2 against Toronto in the regular season, despite the absence of star point guard John Wall.




The Raptors still remember getting swept out of the first round by the Wizards in 2015. Oubre said professionalism was the No. 1 priority, then Brooks shared a characteristic, and the two went back and forth until they had created a long list that eventually drilled home the goal of the game: defense over nearly everything else.

The Raptors came into the day 0-9 in the opening game of the National Basketball Association playoffs. "On home court, we're supposed to win, and that's our mindset", he said. "Brush it off and move forword". Lowry made both free throws and, on the ensuing possession, Wright gave Toronto the lead with a layup. "We know what works for us, what got us here, and what's going to take us even further".

The defensive ferocity of the reserve line-up, comprising of Pascal Siakam, Delon Wright, Jakob Poeltl, CJ Miles and Fred VanVleet, could make life miserable for the Wizards who don't have much depth beyond Tomas Satoransky and Kelly Oubre Jr. He finished with 23 points.

"Playoff games are tough", Casey said. "He was cool as a cucumber". When it got chippy there for a little bit, I liked it. Wall had a pair of 3-pointers in the first quarter to bring the Wizards back.

Will the mighty Raptors fall at the first hurdle?

"I thought it was a playoff foul", said Scott. The Wizards held a 59-55 half-time lead.

"They have an unbelievable crowd here", said Gortat. They had a close battle in most of time and led several times in the fourth quarter. The team that put an emphasis on three-pointers made 16 of them and outscored the Wizards by 24 points from beyond the arc. Otto Porter started despite sitting out Wednesday's season finale because of a strained right calf. Each team scored 20 points off their opponents miscues. Scott was available after going through the National Basketball Association concussion protocol.

Washington's talented backcourt of John Wall and Bradley Beal can torch any defence in the National Basketball Association on a given night and have performed quite consistently in the playoffs.

Lowry led the Raptors with almost 38 minutes played while DeRozan logged 35.

DeRozan had 12 points in a third quarter that saw neither team lead by more than five points.

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