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Retooled Raptors ready for playoff rematch with Wizards

16 April, 2018, 03:29 | Author: Joan Malone
  • NBA Playoff Handicapper Free Betting Pick: Washington Wizards at Toronto Raptors

DeMar DeRozan had only five points and Kyle Lowry had only two at the break.

The Wizards led 59-55 at halftime.

Philadelphia outscored Miami by 31 points in the second half to extend their winning streak to 17 games. You lock down Lowry and DeRozan for much of the game and, for the first time against the Raptors this season, you have your own transcendent star available in Wall.

Thanks to the balanced offensive effort, though, the Raptors ended a streak that dated back to 2001.

The Eastern Conference's number one seed boasted a meagre point one advantage heading into the final portion of the game, but then replacement Delon Wright scored 12 of his 18 points to secure the victory. Rookie OG Anunoby led the Raptors with eight points in the quarter, while Serge Ibaka added six. The Toronto Raptors are averaging 114 points on 53.2 percent shooting and allowing 106 points on 47.7 percent shooting. It would have been just about unimaginable, however, in years past.

The teams split the regular-season series, 2-2.

Yesterday's win was the Raptors' first opening playoff win in the franchise's history.

Historically, postseason opponents have been able to throw the Raptors out of rhythm by sending multiple defenders at Lowry and DeRozan and daring others to beat them.

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Toronto Raptors will again host Game 2 on Tuesday night.

The Wizards led 91-88 early in the fourth quarter, but things turned in the favor of the Raptors after Scott was called for a flagrant foul, following an elbow that took down Lowry.

As the season went on, those things shifted, and the clutch offense became more varied, emphasizing DeRozan and Lowry when they had good matchups or one of them had their game rolling, but also involving others frequently, and finding more success through that approach. "We got to make adjustments".

The Wizards managed 21 bench points and shot 8-21 (38.1%) from 3-point range. And, as Bradley Beal said, "DeMar (DeRozan) even made some threes in the fourth", which probably sounds a little harsh but ...

It's worth pointing out that both of those plays took place in the first half, when DeRozan was supposedly struggling. "We're in a tough series against a very athletic, fast team, so we can't, there's not a sigh of relief". This game, in which he shot 6-for-17, illustrated that he has become an expert in doing just that.

Until the fourth quarter, the Wizards were keeping up with Toronto.

The Raptors open the National Basketball Association playoffs on Saturday against the Wizards, and Lowry talked about adding that embarrassing series three years ago to the giant chip on his shoulder he's famous for playing with.

Toronto bounced back to beat Washington 100-91 on November 19 at the Air Canada Centre. As the series opener showed, the old book on the Raptors is outdated.

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