TORONTO (AP) — For the first time in almost 17 years, the Toronto Raptors are off to a winning start in a playoff series.
Not that they’re overly excited about it.
Serge Ibaka had 23 points and 12 rebounds, former Utah guard Delon Wright scored 11 of his 18 points in the fourth quarter, and the Raptors snapped a 10-game losing streak in playoff openers by beating the Washington Wizards 114-106 on Saturday.
“It’s out of the way now,” DeMar DeRozan said of the streak. “Worry about Game 2.”
DeRozan scored 17 points, C.J. Miles and OG Anunoby each had 12 and Kyle Lowry had 11 points and nine assists for the Raptors, whose only previous victory in the opening game of a playoff series came in the second round at Philadelphia on May 6, 2001.
Toronto entered having lost an NBA-worst 10 consecutive Game 1s since, including six at home.
“I think the fans are more relieved than we are,” Wright said.
After scoring 11 of his 18 points in the 4th, @delonwright chats with us as @Raptors take Game 1 at home. #NBAPostgame pic.twitter.com/khyQAkHUih
— NBA (@NBA) April 15, 2018
Raptors coach Dwane Casey said his team, the top seed in the Eastern Conference, is focused on more than Game 1.
“We’re not satisfied,” Casey said. “We’re in this for the long run.”
Toronto put its streak in the past by hitting 16 of 30 3-point attempts, a team record for a postseason game.
“We let a few of their guys that just can flat-out shoot, shoot a lot of 3s,” Wizards coach Scott Brooks said.
Miles made four from long range, while Ibaka and Wright each hit three.
.@delonwright: Kyle shoot it@Klow7: No you shoot it@delonwright: Say less, fam pic.twitter.com/ba9SCA9oHF
— Toronto Raptors (@Raptors) April 14, 2018
“I always thought Serge was going to be the X-factor with his shooting when they double-team Kyle and DeMar,” Casey said. “His 3-point shooting is huge.”
Brooks called Ibaka “one of the best, if not the best, big man shooter in the league.”
The Raptors host Game 2 on Tuesday.
John Wall had 23 points and 15 assists for the Wizards, while Markieff Morris had 22 points and 11 rebounds.
Bradley Beal scored 19 points for Washington, while Mike Scott had 14 and Marcin Gortat 12.
The Wizards swept Toronto in the first round in 2015 but find themselves in a quick hole this time around.
“We’ve been here before,” Beal said. “We didn’t come here with the mindset that we were going to sweep them. We had opportunities, several opportunities, to win tonight and close it out but we didn’t. Brush it off and move forward.”
Washington led 91-88 when Scott was called for a flagrant foul after using his elbow to knock Lowry down early in the fourth. Lowry made both free throws and, on the ensuing possession, Wright gave Toronto the lead with a layup. After a missed shot by Morris, Miles hit a 3 to cap a 7-0 run that gave …read more
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