Washington Wizards vs. Toronto Raptors - 4/22/18 NBA Pick, Odds, and Prediction

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DeMar DeRozan led Toronto with 23 points on 10-for-22 shooting one game after scoring 37, and Kyle Lowry had 19 points and eight assists. ESPN's Rachel Nichols sat down with the Raptors backcourt to discuss their friendship and their desires of bringing a championship to Canada. Beal attempted only one free throw, while Wall went to the line 10 times. The Wizards have won 7 straight home games in the post-season though, and have clearly shown the ability to fight through adversity and win on their home floor. This is a tough team that we're playing.

The Toronto Raptors defeated the Washington Wizards in each of the first two games of their first-round series. "We've got to be prepared", DeRozan said in the morning shootaround.

Lawson was just added to the Wizards roster for the postseason and Friday night's Game 3 was his home debut with the team, but he's looked to fit in just fine and could be a key piece as this series moves on. Beal himself contributed 28 points, four rebounds, and four assists. "Just making sure that I am constantly moving, making them exhausted, especially when they put Kyle [Lowry] on me, just tire him out as much as possible". He said, the Wizards did what they're supposed to do. Instead, they shared it perfectly like selfless teammates.

The Raptors have enough playoff experience to know that series can swing violently from game to game. Beal scored 12 points in the first quarter alone. Toronto led 27-18 late in the first quarter but was outscored 12-2 the rest of the quarter to trail by one after one. In Game 2, he chipped in a measly nine points and was 3-of-11 from the field.

Beal closed out the first quarter with two three-pointers in the final 90 seconds, pumping his fist, screaming in celebration and encouraging Wizards fans to join in on the fun. All eyes will be on the officials in Game 2 on Tuesday night to see how they respond to the Wizards' comments. At the time, the Wizards led by just two points, 38-36.

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The Raptors rank second in blocks per game (6.1) while the Wizards rank 21st (4.3). Anunoby slowed down Wall in the second halves, and he allowed Lowry to shift onto Beal, on whom Lowry was Toronto's best defender in the regular season. They surprisingly got a lot of production off their bench, with Mike Scott, Kelly Oubre, and Ian Mahinmi combining for 46 points. And for better or for worse, both Beal and Wall also introduced a bit of physicality to the mix.

Should Jonas Valanciunas have been given a foul for playing keepaway from Beal?

When all was said and done, Beal, John Wall and Serge Ibaka all received technical fouls. He'll need to start doing so in Game 3 or the Wizards risk saying goodbye to any hopes they may have of coming back in this series. "When you're going into a series, you've got to give Toronto credit, they took care of the first home games, on their court, and we've gotta give our group a chance to do the same, and we have a history of we've done it and hopefully, we can repeat it tonight". At intermission the Wizards were shooting a stunning 60 per cent from the field and 5 for 9 from three-point range. Maybe Washington wins anyway, but it would have been a closer game had the Wichita State product suited up.

But at least for one night in Game 3, Wall and Beal turned the attention away from Lowry, DeRozan and the Raptors as a whole, and they returned to the form that had them (and others) having visions of Eastern Conference Finals grandeur.

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