The Toronto Raptors' quest for the franchise's first National Basketball Association championship gets underway Saturday afternoon at Air Canada Center. And yes, Lowry and DeRozan shot poorly in the first half: 1-for-3 for the four-time All-Star point guard, 1-for-5 for the four-time All-Star shooting guard, seven points between them. The Wizards held a 59-55 half-time lead.
It might have felt like déjà vu, but it did not look like it - Toronto's offense was fine.
Toronto put its streak in the past by hitting 16 of 30 3-point attempts, a team record for a postseason game. "It's the same role they played all year", Casey told theScore after a 114-106 Game 1 win. Miles' shooting, the Raptors used the same balanced effort Saturday that they did from October through mid-April, when they racked up an Eastern Conference-leading 59 wins.
Serge Ibaka finished with 23 points, 12 rebounds and two blocks and Delon Wright scored 11 of his 18 points in the fourth quarter for the Raptors, who are off to a winning start in a playoff series for the first time in nearly 17 years.
The Raptors had gone 0-10 in their last 10 Game 1 matchups in the NBA Playoffs.
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Winning this way is not at all unusual for the 2017-18 Toronto Raptors. As much as Toronto would have liked DeRozan and Lowry to catch fire in Game 1, this kind of victory is the clearest possible representation of how the team has changed.
The Raptors proved that Saturday night when they opened the post-season with a solid 114-106 victory over the Washington Wizards, ending a woeful Game 1 losing streak that had stretched back to 2001 - and one the team had grown tired of hearing about.
Raptors: Lowry played despite flu-like symptoms. Toronto spent 82 games getting comfortable with a style that counteracts that - rather than shouldering a huge scoring burden, they have been asked to leverage their scoring abilities to put the defense in uncomfortable positions. But will this series be a clean four-game sweep or could the Wizard's give the top-seed Raptors some problems?
"I always thought Serge was going to be the X-factor with his shooting when they double-team Kyle and DeMar", Casey said. "We got to make adjustments". "VanVleet didn't play tonight but Wright came in and had a terrific game". Earlier in his career, he was criticized for being a player that couldn't help his team when his shots were not falling. A referees' review then disallowed an earlier Mike Scott basket (released after the shot clock), and then Lowry scored, and suddenly it was a nine-point Raptors lead with just over five minutes left. And when Toronto went into the fourth quarter with an 86-85 lead, it set up a thrilling final 12 minutes in front of a capacity Air Canada Centre crowd that included Drake, sitting courtside in a Humboldt Broncos hockey jersey.
TORONTO (AP) - For the first time in nearly 17 years, the Toronto Raptors are off to a winning start in a playoff series.