The Washington Wizards pulled off a huge 93-86 victory in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals. The matchup came on the road, which means the Wiz have stole home-court advantage from the Toronto Raptors, at least for now. However, Washington did not perform up to its full potential.
Wizards stars John Wall and Bradley Beal shot a combined 11-41 and scored just 26 points between the two. The Wizards blew a big lead in this game, and allowed Greivis Vasquez to hit a game-tying three-pointer with 25 seconds left in regulation.
The game went into overtime, but “The Truth” himself came through for the Wizards. Paul Pierce made 4-of-7 from downtown, scoring a game-high 20 points and posing as the X-factor in this game. These are the exact situations that the Wiz acquired Pierce for before the season. He has already done what he was signed to do.
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Wall dished out a couple of big assists in OT, leading the Wizards to a seven-point victory in the Air Canada Centre. Nene also had a pretty big game in this one, recording 12 points and 13 rebounds in only 21 minutes. He came through big time for Washington in the playoffs last year, and looks to do so again this season.
The Wizards did not perform particularly well offensivley in this game, but they held their ground on the defensive side. Other than shooting guard DeMar DeRozan, not a single player on the Raptors starting five eclipsed more than seven points. Starting point guard Kyle Lowry shot just 2-for-10 from the field, scoring only seven points.
Excluding DeRozan, the Raptors starting lineup scored a combined 23 points between the other four starters. You will not win many games like that. The bad news for Washington is that Toronto will not repeat an offensive performance like this again. The good news is that they will not repeat a defensive performance like this either.
Factoring all that in, the Wizards have a pretty good shot at grabbing this series, especially considering they already have the 1-0 advantage.
Game 2 is tomorrow night in Toronto, and the Raptors will be playing their tales off to make sure that they don’t fall into a 2-0 series deficit.