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Raptors take series lead on Wizards in first round of NBA Playoffs

29 April, 2018, 01:15 | Author: Delia Walker
  • Wall greets fans after Game 4

DeMar DeRozan added 16 points and Jonas Valanciunas chipped in 14 for Toronto, who trailed by five going into the fourth quarter but out-scored the flagging Wizards 29-14 in the final period.

As Oklahoma City faces the Utah Jazz, the Thunder are starting Corey Brewer, who was brought in last month after he was bought out by the Los Angeles Lakers. Tonight, our bench did a great job. Unlike previous playoff appearances, this time Toronto could not be thrown off its game by a trapping defense created to take the ball out of Lowry and DeRozan's hands.

"But that's how our team is built".

DeRozan and Lowry exploded on the Wizards for a combined 49 points, 15 assists, four rebounds and three steals, while also shooting 6 of 10 from distance.

But with star guards Lowry and DeMar DeRozan, who had a personal series-low 16 points, resting to begin the fourth, reserves led by point guard Fred VanVleet turned around the game.

With just under nine minutes to play, and Game 5 threatening to slip away, coach Dwane Casey went with a lineup that had played less than 10 minutes together all season. "It is that little birdie on the shoulder and I thought it really propelled Pascal [Siakam] and those other guys to give them a sense of confidence".

Wall had 23 points and eight assists in Game 6; Beal scored 32.

Something clearly has to change in order for them to take that next step so there'll be big decisions ahead for the franchise. Could you imagine how much better Wall and Beal would look with a bench as loaded and cohesive as the Raptors'?Toronto's next challenge will come against either the Indiana Pacers or the organization that has outclassed them in two consecutive postseasons: the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Toronto ranks 12th in second chance points per game (12.8) while Washington ranks 17th in second chance points allowed per game (12.9). We are a better team than that. Bradley, playing those minutes, moving, cutting - I think had a quote, he said he was exhausted last game, you know, that's basketball.

Westbrook got into a brief verbal altercation with a fan at the end of the game. The Wizards have averaged 114 points in their two home games in this series, and Wall and Beal should have a productive night.

LeBron James sank 22 points for the Cavaliers, but he was their only player to score more than 13. He provided instant offense off the Wizards' bench and it will probably get him paid handsomely this summer. I mean, sometimes we haven't shot the ball well, but our teams have had some success in the playoffs.

Toronto fell behind by 12 points in the first quarter and by 53-50 at the end of the second. Still Toronto had shot just five three-pointers, couldn't get to the free throw line and couldn't manage to snag the lead. With the game out of hand, he sat out all of the fourth quarter. The Lithuanian had his second double double of the postseason as he notched 14 points and 13 rebounds.

The home team has dominated all series, but I still believe there is room for one road victory and if it happens it will nearly certainly be the Raptors here.


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