Raptors edge Wizards, 114-106, take Game 1

Raptors guard De Mar DeRozan

The Washington Wizards came into game one of their first round series with the Toronto Raptors with a clear idea of what they wanted to do.

The Toronto Raptors look for another victory to ease some tension and take a 2-0 series lead.

"We've been here before", Beal said.

The Raptors started strong, getting out to a 14-4 lead, but were unable to separate themselves further.

Miles' second 3-pointer of the quarter put Toronto up 103-96 with just over six minutes to play.

The Canadian outfit boasts the deepest rotation in professional basketball with several bench players who provide starter-level production; in fact, the second unit have outscored their opponents by nearly twenty-five points per hundred possessions. They shot 50 percent from the field and 41.2 percent from three in the first half, and still trailed by four points.

John Wall led the Wizards with 23 points, 15 assists and four steals.

Toronto, the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference, had nine players with at least nine points Saturday, including rookie first-round pick OG Anunoby's 12 points on 5-of-9 shooting.

It was a dramatic change from past playoffs, when the offence lived or died with whether Lowry and DeRozan made their shots, and when the post-Game 1 media sessions had the air of a funeral.

Closing time: Dwane Casey started the fourth quarter with a Kyle Lowry-plus-reserves lineup, making the decision to bring in Lucas Nogueira with 10:02 remaining. But 15 of those assists came in the first three quarters as Toronto's defense made things hard in game's final stanza. Miles finished with 12 points, and Wright added 18 points, 11 coming in the decisive fourth quarter. He welcomed him to the stage: "Serge IbAKA!", he said, with a grin. The Washington Wizards are shooting 38.1 percent from beyond the arc and 88.9 percent from the free throw line. Morris rolled an ankle late in the fourth, but was able to return to the game.

The Raptors opened as 8.5-point favorites; the total is at 210.5, according to sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark. 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. He's the kind of guy that's always ready. "It's the first step in the journey". "The biggest thing is to get a good foot forward".

The season series between the Blazers and Pelicans wasn't particularly telling because DeMarcus Cousins played in three of the four games before suffering a ruptured Achilles' heel that ended his season. He scored nine points. "I think it's consistent of what we've been trying to do the entire year: move the ball and set up other people and trust other people to make plays when [the opponent is] trying to take those two out". On home court, we're supposed to win.

We'd heard snippets in commercial teasers, but you can now hear the full version via Sportsnet below. "I've got to go with my gut, and Tomas [Satoransky] has played well". But it's great to hear. They give us a lot of boost out there. "They had eight more threes than us". That's the biggest thing.

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. We've done it all year, it's nothing new.

The Raptors came into the day 0-9 in the opening game of the National Basketball Association playoffs. "We had them and give credit to them ... but we should have won that". Everybody was in the rotation. "Guys off the bench came in and stepped up..."

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