Raptors edge Wizards, 114-106, take Game 1

  • Raptors edge Wizards, 114-106, take Game 1

Raptors edge Wizards, 114-106, take Game 1

The top-seeded Raptors will host the Washington Wizards in Game 1 of their first-round NBA Playoffs series.

If you paid attention to the Raptors in the regular season (or read this story), you know all about their "culture reset" and offensive transformation: Despite finishing sixth in offensive rating last season, they installed a completely new system in training camp, one which required their primary scorers to sacrifice touches, empower their teammates and move without the ball.

A franchise plagued with tropes of playoff failure, the top-seeded Raptors were supposed to be renewed for the 2018 postseason. Neither option looks great for a Raptors opponent, and that's why this Raptors team is so much more risky than the teams of years past. After taking a 1-0 series lead for the first time since he was an assistant coach in Dallas, Raptors coach Dwane Casey credited the guards for taking what the Wizards gave them.

"One of the league's best benches", Marcin Gortat acknowledged. Wright came off the bench and scored 12 of his 18 points in the fourth quarter.

Gortat wanted to see some videotape before saying much else. After averaging a career-high 5.2 assists this season, he had six assists in Game 1 despite shooting 6-for-17. DeMar DeRozan had made only one of his five shots. All the more impressive that they did this without VanVleet, who makes the bench that much more unsafe for Toronto, and brings another weapon that they can use in clutch minutes. "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?" "It's a journey, it's a marathon", Casey said.

"That sequence was big for us just to get the lead back and kind of start to get a little bit of momentum, a little bit more push", Lowry said.

"Just coaching", Brooks would say later when asked about the exercise he shared with Oubre before the Wizards' April 3 game.

But the season series unfolded without Wizards star John Wall, who missed all four Raptors matchups with left knee injuries.

Leading by just one point entering the fourth quarter, Toronto, spurred by Delon Wright, cruised to victory.

"I thought it was a playoff foul", said Scott. "I only think about it when y'all bring it up".

DeMar DeRozan scored 17 points, C.J. Miles and OG Anunoby had 12 points each and Kyle Lowry ended with 11 points and nine assists for Toronto, which halted an NBA-worst 10-game losing streak in playoff openers. "Understand we'll make the right pass and everyone else to going to make the right play, and guys did".

A lovely series of passing led to a three-pointer by Wright with 3:31 to play, and gave the Raptors a 12-point lead.

The Wizards swept Toronto in the first round in 2015 but find themselves in a quick hole this time around.

"They jumped on us", Brooks said. I'm just more motivated than ever, man, because I want to be great. We do a lot of things on the fly; have to read our body language. "I don't even know how to put it into words", Miles said.