Wizards Escape In Overtime To Take 1-0 Lead Over Raptors

The Washington Wizards won the first game of their playoff series with the Toronto Raptors in overtime, 93-86. The best of seven series is now 1-0 in favor of the Wizards. The sellout crowd at Air Canada Centre let their presence be known throughout the game, especially to Paul Pierce for his pregame comments, but they were not enough to hold off the Wizards. The Raptors are now 0-7 in opening games of playoff series. 

Paul Pierce, the 37-year old veteran led the Wizards with 20 points on 7/10 shooting. Bradley Beal struggled shooting, but finished with 16 points, nine rebounds and six assists. Nene added a double-double with 12 points and 13 boards, while John Wall pitched in with 10 points, eight assists and six rebounds. 

The Raptors were led by Amir Johnson off the bench with 18 points and eight rebounds. DeMar DeRozan had a double-double with 15 points and 11 rebounds.Kyle Lowry had a rough performance before fouling out late in the fourth quarter. He finished with seven points, eight rebounds and four assists

The first quarter was a struggle as the Wizards scored 19 points on 33 percent shooting from the field. Nene set the tone in the paint however, scoring six points and grabbing seven rebounds. The Raptors shot 40 percent from the field as they finished the quarter with 23 points. 

The second quarter was a different story for the Wizards shooting woes as they made 10 of their 22 shots. Paul Pierce came alive as he scored 10 points including two huge three-pointers. Bradley Beal was struggling with his shot, but he dished out four assists to help the Wizards regain the lead. The Raptors bench produced 13 of their 19 points in the quarter, seven of which were by Patrick Patterson. The Wizards outscored the Raptors in the second quarter 27-19, taking a 46-42 lead at the half.

Paul Pierce continued his hot shooting coming out of halftime to lead the Wizards with five points in the third quarter. The Wizards were able to extend their lead to 11, the largest by either team. The Raptors shot an abysmal 28 percent only scoring 14 points in the third. Amir Johnson was able to get going though, scoring six points and grabbing three rebounds. 

The Wizards were able to extend their lead to 15 points, only to see the Raptors rally back within two points. Low Williams hit a three-pointer to cut the lead to, 77-75. With 25 seconds left, Greivis Vasquez knocked down a three-pointer to tie the game at 82. John Wall was called on by the Wizards for the last shot, but missed a 19-foot pull-up. After looking at the clock, the Raptors had one more opportunity with 0.4 seconds left to throw a lob to Terrence Ross that nearly went in. Bradley Beal led the Wizards scoring nine of the 17 points in the quarter. For the Raptors, Williams and Vasquez combined for 16 of the 26 points to force the game in overtime. 

The Wizards' defense was dominant in overtime holding the Raptors to four points. It was Paul Pierce again leading the Wizards with five of their 11 points in the overtime period. The Raptors shot 22 percent as DeRozan and Vasquez made their two field goals. 

Game 2 will be played in Toronto again as the Raptors hope to avoid falling behind 0-2 for the series before it moves to Washington. The next game is scheduled for Tuesday at 8:00 PM ET on NBATV.

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