Coming into today’s game, the Toronto Raptors had lost 10 straight Game ones. Well, they had to win one eventually and today was the day. They beat the Washington Wizards 114-106 to take a 1-0 lead in the series.
Morris/Scott Front court
Raptors won the tip-off as Marcin Gortat gets an immediate foul for grabbing Jonas Valanciunas. A second early foul on Gortat brings in Ian Mahinmi. Mahinmi quickly racks up two fouls of his own which leads to the Wizards going small with a Mike Scott and Markieff Morris front court. Obviously that’s not ideal. Head coach Scott Brooks spoke on it after the game.
“It was definitely a challenge. You don’t think that your big will get a foul on the jump ball. I don’t think I’ve ever seen that to start the game. Especially in the playoffs,” Brooks said.
Scott was forced to guard bigger guys like Valanciunas and Serge Ibaka and it didn’t go well. Ibaka was able to score 14 points in the first half. It wasn’t all bad for Scott, he had a great game on the offensive end. After the game, Brooks had nice words for his versatile front court.
“Mike had a terrific game. Mike & Markieff, they present problems because they both can do a lot of good things with ball. They’re good ball movers and they can make shots and make threes. It bothered us initially and then we kind’ve overcame it.”
Scott shot 7 of 10 from the field for 14 points in the game. He was the Wizards only real contributor from the bench. Morris impacted the game with 22 points, 11 rebounds, and six assists.
The Wizards finished the season with the sixth-best opponent 3-point field goal percentage in the NBA. That perimeter defense was nowhere to be found today. The Raptors were snipers today with 16 threes. They shot over 50 percent from long range. C.J. Miles was today’s Wizards killer with four threes. Speaking of threes, number three, Bradley Beal spoke on all the threes after the game.
“Transition threes. Offensive rebound, kick out threes. I think CJ and Wright they hit some big shots down the stretch, a lot of threes. Demar even made some threes in the fourth.”
Things Got Flagrant
The turning point came with about 10 minutes left in the game. Scott was called for a flagrant foul on Kyle Lowry that lead to a seven-point run for Toronto. Lowry would hit both free throws. Toronto would get the ball back and get another bucket from Delon Wright. On the next Raptors possession, Miles hits his fourth 3-pointer of the game. The Wizards never recovered from this run.
All-in-all, it wasn’t a bad outing for the Wizards. John Wall showed up with 23 points and 15 assists. Ibaka led the way for Toronto with 23 points. DeMar DeRozan and Lowry were held to a combined 28 points. Washington has to like their chances Tuesday night if they can continue to contain DeRozan and Lowry.