National Basketball Association
Toronto at Washington
When: 8:00 PM ET, Friday, April 20, 2018
Where: Capital One Arena, Washington, District of Columbia
The Toronto Raptors showed off the depth of their roster in Game 1, but in Game 2 it was time for a star to shine. The Raptors will try to build off DeMar DeRozan's big game and take a commanding 3-0 lead in the best-of-seven first-round Eastern Conference series when they visit the Washington Wizards for Game 3 on Friday.
DeRozan managed 17 points on 6-of-17 shooting in a 114-106 victory in Game 1 but exploded for 37 on 14-of-23 in a 130-119 triumph in Game 2. "I just let the game come to me. I go based off that," DeRozan told reporters. "These days, it's not like I have to have the mindset to go out there and I've got to score 30, 40 points. ... I went out there to be aggressive. With my aggressiveness came 37 points." The Wizards fell behind early in Game 1 and were down 44-27 at the end of the first quarter in Game 2, and getting off to stronger starts is the team's goal. "We need a better start," Washington coach Scott Brooks told reporters. "All five guys need to lock in defensively. They've gotten free for a lot of jump shots, and give them credit, they made them. ... But we've got to be a little better. We've got to have a better start. It's not the only thing, but we've got to start there and then go from there."
8 p.m. ET, ESPN2, TSN 1/4/5 (Toronto), NBCS WashingtonABOUT THE RAPTORS:
DeRozan wasn't alone in Toronto's solid Game 2 performance, and center Jonas Valanciunas outplayed his counterparts on Washington while collecting 19 points and 14 rebounds. "We're strong as a team, we're not strong as individual players,” Valanciunas told reporters. "We did it as a team. We were great defending, helping each other, more than our own strengths. I think this is team sport and when you play it together, support each other, help each other, it’s fun. It gives you extra confidence to enjoy the game." All-Star point guard Kyle Lowry added a double-double as well with 13 points and 12 assists.
ABOUT THE WIZARDS:
All-Star guard Bradley Beal is off to a slow start offensively in the series and was held to nine points on 3-of-11 shooting in Game 2, but defense was his main concern after the loss. "I think we're shooting ourselves in the foot coming out to slow starts, allowing guys to get open 3's, allowing guys to get those shots, allowing guys to get layups," Beal told reporters. "You can't allow a team to get both, it has to be one or the other. You can't give up 3's and layups, or you'll be down 20 in the first quarter like we were. We've just got to go back to the drawing board." Washington is allowing the Raptors to shoot 52.4 percent from the floor in the series.BUZZER BEATERS
1. Raptors SF CJ Miles is 8-of-13 from 3-point range in the series.
2. Washington PG Ty Lawson, who signed with the team on the eve of the playoffs, made his debut in Game 2 and collected 14 points and eight assists in 31 minutes off the bench.
3. Lowry is 2-of-12 from 3-point range in the series.PREDICTION:
Raptors 112, Wizards 108
Stats and Records