Retooled Raptors ready for playoff rematch with Wizards

Henrietta Brewer
April 15, 2018

"We just don't want to chance injuring him further", Casey said.

The No. 1 seed Toronto Raptors defeated the No. 8 Washington Wizards, 114-106, on Saturday, April 14, in the opening day of the 2018 NBA Playoffs.

Washington star point guard John Wall, who missed half the season with a knee injury and had not faced the Raptors in any of their four regular season meetings, put up 21 points and 15 assists.

Not too long after the game's tip, Drake appeared in his usual courtside seat along Toronto's sideline, the ideal spot to encourage his beloved Raptors and taunt his National Basketball Association friends from other teams.

The Raps inserted Lucas Nogueira into the bench unit for a different dimension in the paint, adding valuable rim protection and great passing. When it got chippy there for a little bit, I liked it. Then, with the white-clad crowd on its feet, Lowry found Serge Ibaka for a dunk with 1:42 to play, all but sealing the victory for Toronto.

The Wizards led 59-55 at halftime.

"We knew they were going try to take out DeMar and Kyle, they had 15 assists between them, so we were prepared for that", Casey said. "Guys off the bench came in and stepped up", Wizards head coach Scott Brooks said in his postgame news conference. "It's the same role they played all year. but as long as those guys are producing the way they are, why should we change our rotation?"

Washington big man Marcin Gortat - known as one of the NBA's most agitating screeners - was lured into two fouls within the first three minutes of play and taken out of the game.

"I think the biggest thing is starting off on the right foot, protecting your home floor". "They are a No. 1 seed for a reason, they have a lot of good players". They had a close battle in most of time and led several times in the fourth quarter. He assisted on all three of Ibaka's long-range makes and one of O.G. Anunoby's, too.

Wizards: Wall had six assists in the second quarter and 10 in the first half.

Game 2 will be Tuesday night in Toronto.

JJ Redick scored 28 points to lead the Sixers, who host Game 2 on Monday.

As Toronto's playoff foes have often done, Washington zeroed in defensively on Lowry and DeRozan, trapping and double-teaming Toronto's All-Star duo.

Raptors: Lowry played despite flu-like symptoms.

DeRozan had 12 points in a third quarter that saw neither team lead by more than five points. They finished with 17.

And while the Raptors didn't dress backup point guard Fred VanVleet, who sat out with a sore shoulder, they still managed to wear down the Wizards with their depth.

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