DeMar DeRozan scored 37 points on 14-of-23 shooting, and the Toronto Raptors took a 2-0 series lead by notching a 130-119 victory over the visiting Washington Wizards on Tuesday night (April 17).
Game 3 of the Eastern Conference first-round series is Friday at Washington.
Jonas Valanciunas contributed 19 points and 14 rebounds, and CJ Miles added 18 points for the top-seeded Raptors. Kyle Lowry had 13 points and 12 assists, Delon Wright tallied 11 points and Serge Ibaka registered 10 points, nine rebounds and three blocked shots for Toronto, who set a franchise record for points in a play-off game.
John Wall recorded 29 points and nine assists to pace the eighth-seeded Wizards. Mike Scott scored 20 points, Ty Lawson and Kelly Oubre Jr. added 14 points apiece, and Otto Porter Jr. and Ian Mahinmi each had 12 for Washington.
Wizards standout Bradley Beal had just nine points on three-of-11 shooting.
Washington was outrebounded 48-34.
“We did what we’re supposed to do at home. We haven’t done nothing yet,”DeRozan said in a post-game interview on NBA TV. “We got to go out in their place for Game 3, and it will be a much tougher game, and that’s where we can make something happen.”
DeRozan matched his personal play-off scoring high. Thirteen of his points came in Toronto’s tone-setting, 44-point opening quarter.
However, Washington battled back to make it close in the fourth quarter.
The Wizards trailed by 18 just past the midway point of the third quarter before making a frantic push to move within 108-103 on Wall’s two free throws with 7min 52sec remaining in the game. Miles then stunted Washington’s momentum with a 30-foot, three-pointer, and DeRozan scored the next four to get Toronto’s lead back up to 12 with 6:19 to play.
Wright caught Lowry’s long alley-oop pass to slam it home to make it 125-107 with 3:38 remaining to all but extinguish the Wizards’ chances.
DeRozan scored 20 first-half points and Toronto shot 56 per cent from the field en route to a 76-58 half-time lead.
The Raptors came charging out quickly, and the lead moved over 20 when Wright delivered a dunk to make it 34-13 with 3:51 to play in the first quarter.
The Raptors’ lead was 23 after Valanciunas’ three-point play with 1:56 to go in the first half before Toronto settled for an 18-point half-time advantage.