The power audience roared when DeRozan forced a turnover and saved the ball from moving out of bounds passed to Lowry who fed Wright to an alley oop dunk with 3:38 left, setting upward Toronto, 125-107. This exchange was shared on social media as a moment encapsulating the team's Game 2 dysfunction. Speaking to reporters after the game, Gentry said he was happy to have a playoff veteran like Rondo take what was perhaps the biggest shot of the game, despite Rondo's reputation as a poor 3-point shooter.
Now, the series shifts back to New Orleans as the Pelicans get a chance to close out the 3rd seed in the Western Conference on their home court.
The pundits questioning the playoff Raptors are still out there, but after winning Game 1 and nailing 11 three's in a decisive 76-point half of Game 2, Toronto is well on their way to quieting those doubters.
Toronto was content to defend the Wizards' ball screen actions with just two defenders, often dropping its big back to the rim and conceding an elbow jumper while its guard fought through the screen. Washington won the third quarter 32-24, shooting 55 percent, to Toronto's 45 percent in the quarter. He had two early assists on Tuesday night, including one to Jonas Valanciunas (!) behind the three-point line, and then ramped up his own scoring once the Wizards started giving him more space. Rather than panic, the Raptors responded. They finished with 15, leading to 21 points by the Celtics.
Rashad has been covering the National Basketball Association and the Washington Wizards since 2008-his first two years were spent at Hoops Addict before moving to Truth About It. Rashad has appeared on ESPN and college radio, SportsTalk on NewsChannel 8 in Washington D.C., and his articles have appeared on ESPN TrueHoop, USAToday.com, Complex Magazine, and the DCist.
Beal, who scored 19 points on 8-of-17 shooting while attempting just one foul shot, emphasized the Raptors' overly physical style of play, which he says he'll be more prepared for in Game 2 on Tuesday night.
But nearly as important, the victory for the Raptors came in Game 1 of the series, a point in time that has seemingly held a curse on the Toronto franchise for more than 15 years. DeRozan chipped in 23.
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I gave him my word, and that's how we've always been. We great players are always criticised. I'm not going to change their opinion.
John Wall had 29 points to top Washington, while Mike Scott added 20. Defensively, the Raptors are yielding 103.9 points per game against the opposing teams.
"Vintage. He was great". "We needed every point". Valanciunas also tied Antonio Davis for most double-doubles in the postseason in franchise history with 12.
Lowry, interrupting again: "I'm just saying, you had 37, don't say it like that".
Wizards guard Bradley Beal overlooked 8 of 11 shots and finished with 9 factors. "We need everyone on his team".
But the Raptors managed to weather the storm, getting timely blocks from Delon Wright, Serge Ibaka, and baskets in transition at the other end. I think this is a team sport, when you play together, when you support each other, help each other, it's fun.
VanVleet said it is fortunate that the two-day break will give his body some extra time to recover.