Washington Wizards vs Toronto Raptors: Lineups, preview & prediction 4/17/18

Free of the burden that came with snapping a ten-game losing streak in Game 1, Toronto look to hold serve at home in Game 2 Tuesday night versus Washington.

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It took 11 tries over 17 years, but the top-seeded Raptors (59-23) finally have a 1-0 series lead after opening this Eastern Conference best-of-seven with a 114-106 victory Saturday. Toronto, whose only previous Game 1 win in 13 tries came against Philadelphia to start the 2001 conference semifinals, got a total team effort as their role players picked up leading scorers Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan, who were held to a combined 28 points on ten-of-26 shooting.

Serge Ibaka totaled 23 points and 12 rebounds while reserves C. J. Miles and Delon Wright accounted for 30 of Toronto’s 42 bench points and made seven of 11 shots from 3-point range to compensate for a second five without injured guard Fred VanVleet. The Raptors shot 53.2 percent overall and made a playoff club-record 16 3-pointers in 30 attempts from beyond the arc as five different players knocked down at least two treys.

Washington (43-39) did not play all that badly, but Mike Scott’s flagrant foul with 10:02 to play swung the momentum of the game as the Raptors scored four points off that possession to trigger a game-breaking 15-5 run in which Miles and Wright accounted for 13 of those points.

John Wall had 23 points, 15 assists, and four steals but also was just six of 20 from the floor. Markieff Morris added postseason career highs of 22 points and six assists while matching a playoff career best with 11 rebounds, and Bradley Beal had 19 points for the No. 8 seed Wizards, who had 29 assists on their 41 field goals and shot 47.7 percent. 

Washington have lost five straight road playoff games and nine of their last ten postseason contests outside the nation’s capital, with the lone victory their Game 6 triumph at Atlanta last year to advance to the conference semifinals.

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