Raptors end Game 1 futility by beating Wizards

16 April, 2018, 14:34 | Author: Judy Cobb
  • Toronto Raptors: A look back at other firsts in franchise history

Here are the Wizards' three biggest takeaways from Game 1 of their first round series. "They have a lot of good players". Washington went into the halftime break with a 59-55 advantage.

That's all in the past now, as Toronto used a fourth-quarter surge to take a 1-0 series lead. DeRozan began the third quarter with a layup and a drilled three-pointer. And the biggest thing is to get a good foot forward. Bradley Beal scored 19 while Markieff Morris tallied 22 points and 11 rebounds. Nogueira's length and presence around the rim immediately made an impact for Toronto, and Nogueira helped the Raptors open a seven-point lead midway through the quarter when he found an open C.J. Miles beyond the arc for three. At the start of the year, the Raptors had a tendency to run the new offense for three and a half quarters, and if the game wasn't won, they would then go back to their old habits and force a lot of isolation and tough shots, and they at times struggled to close out games because of that, with the offense slowing down and the rest of the roster left uninvolved. That includes a truly ugly run in Game 1's: 11 SU losses in 12 tries as a franchise, including an 0-7 SU and ATS record in Game 1's over the last four postseasons. All the more impressive that they did this without VanVleet, who makes the bench that much more risky for Toronto, and brings another weapon that they can use in clutch minutes.

76ers 130, Heat 103: Ben Simmons had 17 points, 14 assists and nine rebounds in his playoff debut, and Philadelphia romped again without Joel Embiid, beating Miami Heat for its 17th straight win.

Last summer, the Raptors front office overhauled a squad that reached the conference semifinals, reasoning a deeper playoff run would need a higher tempo and more three-pointers.

While teams typically beef up their starters' minutes in the playoffs and shorten their bench, the Raptors played 11 players in their Game 1 victory.

Toronto led the league in a couple of bench categories this season - including plus/minus - and those players had an impact on the Wiz the same way they did many other opponents this season.

"Finally we find that connection with each other", the Lithuanian big man said.

The Wizards had a list of things that needed correcting before Tuesday's Game 2. They would take steps to make sure they weren't losing Raptors shooters in transition. But the Raptors made a statement in Saturday's second half, showing fight that has eluded them in their previous 10 series openers.

The Raptors were easily the best Eastern Conference team during the regular season and were the only National Basketball Association team to record a top-5 offensive and defensive rating.

"I think the fans are more relieved than we are", Wright said. "We're a different team, different style of play, different people, different egos".

Count Raptors head coach Dwane Casey among those who wouldn't have predicted Raptors president Masai Ujiri having the patience to let him see the job through after the Wizards stumble.

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