|Raptors aim for 2-0 lead on Wizards|
TORONTO -- The Washington Wizards stayed with the Toronto Raptors for most of Game 1 of the first-round playoff series, but in the end could not match the depth of the Eastern Conference's No. 1 seed.
The Raptors, with six players scoring in double figures Saturday, took the opener of the best-of-seven series 114-106, led by 23 points and 12 rebounds from Serge Ibaka.
The teams play Game 2 on Tuesday night at the Air Canada Centre.
"I think their bench was great, especially (Delon Wright) and C.J Miles," said Wizards guard John Wall, who had 23 points and 15 assists. "They played well, made some big shots for them, and that's what they are going to do every game. We've got to make adjustments."
Wright scored 18 points (11 in the fourth quarter) and Miles had 12 from a Raptors bench that did not have its leader, guard Fred VanVleet, who was out with a shoulder injury and is questionable for Game 2.
It meant starting point guard Kyle Lowry also played some time with the second unit and had 11 points and nine assists in 38 minutes.
Toronto's bench outscored Washington's 42-21.
"You know with Freddie being out I had to play a little more minutes, making a jump," Lowry said. "You know, coach, the last couple weeks of the seasons I've played a few games where I got to 36, 37.
"You know playing that amount of minutes, and playing as hard as I was playing, it's fine, but the way we built our team is for everybody to go out there and play many minutes, to play a certain amount of minutes, and we look forward to everybody having an opportunity to play."
The Raptors shot 53.3 percent (16 of 30) from 3-point range, including 69.2 percent (9 of 13) in the second half. The 16 made 3-pointers were a franchise playoff record. The Wizards shot 38.1 percent (8 of 21) from beyond the arc.
Miles led the Raptors with four 3-pointers off the bench.
"We were prepared, we knew they were going to try and take out Kyle (Lowry) and DeMar (DeRozan), they had 15 or 16 assists between them, so we were prepared for that," Raptors coach Dwane Casey said. "Other than that, we just tried to find energy, speed and quickness to match theirs.
"We know how fast (John) Wall is with the ball, how fast (Bradley) Beal is with the ball, and we will figure out some other things they were doing to us. Guys played their role, it's the same role they played all year and we still hold the power to change our minds. But as long as those guys are producing, why should we change our rotation?"
The teams split four games in the regular season, but the Wizards played those games without an injured Wall. The series is a matchup of two All-Star guard tandems in Toronto's Lowry and DeRozan and Washington's Wall and Beal. The Wizards must find a way to compensate for Toronto's advantage in depth.
"They are the No. 1 seed for a reason. They have a lot of good players," Wizards coach Scott Brooks said. "Guys off the bench came in and stepped up. VanVleet did not play (Saturday), but Wright came in and had a terrific game. That's why they are hard to guard.
"We had the same amount of field goals, same number of free throws, turnovers were pretty close, points off of turnovers close, they just had eight more 3s than us. They've been doing it all year, not 16 in a game, they averaged nearly 12, but we have to do a better job of guarding all their players. Ibaka, he's a terrific shooter, he's one of the best, if not the best, big-man shooter in the league."
The Wizards led 96-95 with 8:39 to play in the fourth quarter, then the Raptors scored 10 straight points.
"There were a lot of sloppy plays, transition 3s, offensive rebounds, kick-out 3," said Beal, who had 19 points and four assists in Game 1. "I think C.J. (Miles) and Wright -- they hit some big shots down the stretch, a lot of 3s.
"DeMar even made some 3s in the fourth, those 3s, they were 16-for-30 from 3, so that hurts you when you're competing, and on the road too. And there were lot of guys who we didn't expect to make those 3s. They made them. You know, we live with those."
Toronto is now 2-12 in the opening game of a playoff series.
"Whatever it was that first game was about hopefully we got it off our back," Casey said. "We're not satisfied; we're in this for the long run. We know we're in a tough series against a very athletic, fast team."