Published: Mon, April 16, 2018
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National Basketball Association playoffs wrap: Raptors, Warriors capture Game 1 wins

National Basketball Association playoffs wrap: Raptors, Warriors capture Game 1 wins

It was not a pleasing development.

On Saturday, the Washington Wizards played the Toronto Raptors for Game 1 of the National Basketball Association playoffs. Washington got back within seven, but couldn't catch back up. The grim trends were all there to be seen. Wall was just 31.9 percent on all field goal attempts outside the restricted area this season.

The Raps made 16 three-pointers to Washington's eight. The Raptors spent the entire season proving they finally had the look of a legitimate contender, and still, they were asked to prove themselves in Game 1. After a Washington miss, Lowry gathered the rebound and raced up the court, then he pulled up and banged home a three pointer of his own.

Though Drake sat courtside in a Humboldt Broncos jersey at the Air Canada Centre for game one, there's more that parallels the Raptors and their North Over Everything campaign to Kardinal and his Northern Touch crew. Lowry slapped a low-five with a teammate and scowled.

The main question heading into the playoffs was whether these Raptors had done enough to earn another reset: one of the expectations of the team's ceiling in the postseason.

According to coach Dwane Casey, VanVleet was out as a precautionary move. You know? A Finals run would do just that. We need to be a little bit better. It is a Game 1, so of course Toronto is losing at halftime. "So it's a psychological phenomenon that I don't have an answer for". And yet at the half, he said, he was "nervous, but not out of whack".

In the end, that's exactly what happened.

"We gotta find somebody to take those minutes, whether it's bringing Kyle (Lowry) back in with the second unit, or putting Norm (Powell) in that position, which we have done before, or LB, Lorenzo Brown".


Power forward Serge Ibaka sank eight of 11 shots to score a game-high 23 points.

"They're a good team". But now, they didn't have to force it.

A 3-1 win in the season series works in Oklahoma City's favor here, but all four of those games were played before Utah added Jae Crowder at the trade deadline, and Jazz center Rudy Gobert did not play in the last two matchups - both of them easy Thunder wins. Possibly because he didn't even know the streak existed until someone asked him about it on Friday. Toronto had 67 games with at least 20 assists, up from 34 the previous year, and averaged 33 shots a game from beyond the arc, third most in the National Basketball Association.

Serge Ibaka was fantastic in Game 1. Kyle Lowry yesterday: "Our Game 1 is our Game 7 tomorrow, to be honest".

"We let a few of their guys that just can flat-out shoot, shoot a lot of 3s", Wizards coach Scott Brooks said. But the Raptors made a statement in Saturday's second half, showing fight that has eluded them in their previous 10 series openers.

"As a young player, what you hear and what you're being told is not what you really need to do", Brooks said.

This is what the Raptors have said in recent seasons about trying to slow down the Cleveland Cavaliers, even as they were getting thumped by them.

Coming into the game, it was all anyone was talking about.

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