This isn't the Toronto Raptors team that hadn't won a National Basketball Association playoff opener in 17 years. This game, in which he shot 6-for-17, illustrated that he has become an expert in doing just that. "We've lost a lot of Game 1s", said Lowry, who has been part of the past seven defeats.
But when the game tipped off and the Wizards worked to neutralize the Raptors' highest-profile performers, a series of supporting players raised their games. The score evenly matched the eight-point spread, and the game went over the total of 211 points.
Under that setup, Casey said, the team's complimentary players are just as important as its all-stars. Guys played their role. "They've got two all-stars, guys who can really play, Markieff was really good today, Gortat too".
"We're not going to look at them like they're the eighth seed because we understand what this team is capable of", DeRozan said.
The teams split the regular-season series, 2-2.
Playoff John Wall is back, and that means exchanging good, old-fashioned trash talk with world-famous rappers. Kyle Lowry, who was battling a virus and coughed throughout the post-game press conference, finished with 11 points and nine assists for the Raptors.
The speedy Wall averaged 19.4 points and 9.6 assists this season. The team stuck by the ball-sharing that won them games all season. "Guys off the bench came in and stepped up", Wizards head coach Scott Brooks said in his postgame news conference.
Durant, Draymond Green and Klay Thompson took charge in Game 1 of the first-round series to elevate the Warriors' intensity at last playing without fellow All-Star and injured two-time MVP Stephen Curry, sidelined since March 23 with a sprained left knee. (Serge) Ibaka, he's a terrific shooter.
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