The Washington Wizards once again silence the sellout crowd at Air Canada Centre, as they defeated the Raptors 117-106 to take a 2-0 lead overall in the series. With the next two games of the series being at Washington, the Wizards have complete control, as they look to go for a possible 4-0 sweep.
The Wizards were led by the dynamic duo of Bradley Beal and John Wall. After having a bad shooting perfomance in Game 1, Beal responded by going for 28 points on 12/21 shooting while also grabbing five rebounds. Wall broke the franchise-record for assists in a playoff game formerly held by Gilbert Arenas. He finished with 26 points and 17 assists. Marcin Gortat had a solid perfomance, shooting 7/9; he finished with 16 points and eight rebounds. The X-factor for Washington was the play of Otto Porter Jr. off the bench. In Game 1, Porter looked shookened by the playoff atmostphere only having five points in 33 minutes, but Game 2 was a different story. Porter was more aggressive on both sides of the ball and it helped tremendously. Otto Jr. finished with 15 points and nine rebounds. For the game, the Wizards shot a scorching 53.2 percent from the field and 47.6 percent from three.
The Raptors were led by DeMar DeRozan and 2015 Sixth Man of the Year Louis Williams, as each of them had a 20 point night. Jonas Valanciunas established a good inside game for the Raptors, scoring 15 points and pulling down 10 rebounds. Similar to Game 1, Amir Johnson produced off the bench with 10 points and five rebounds in just 19 minutes. All-Star point guard, Kyle Lowry, struggled again as he dealt with foul trouble. He finished with just six points and four assists. On the night, the Raptors shot 48.8 percent from the field and 38.9 percent from beyond the arc.
In the first quarter, the Raptors came out as expected, filled with energy and intesity. They started the game on a 12-2 run much because of DeRozan's hot shooting. He hit his first four shots to score nine out of the 12 points for Toronto. Washington sustained their run by utilizing Gortat in the paint. Gortat led the Wizards with 10 points in the first quarter while Wall had eight points and five assists. After the early run by the Raptors, the Wizards outscored them for the rest of the quarter 24-19 to be down five at the end of the first.
With 9:19 left in the second quarter, Lowry picked up his third foul as Porter was driving to the rim. The Wizards took advantage of Lowry being out of the game as Beal put on a shooting clinic. He led the Wizards in the period, scoring 16 points of their 34 second quarter points. The Raptors hit a wall offensively compared to their first-quarter showing, finishing the quarter with 18 points total. Going into halftime, Washington had claimed control of the game with a 60-49 lead.
Coming out of the locker room, the Raptors sent a message again by going on their second 12-2 run of the game. And like earlier in the game, the Wizards answered again by going on a huge run. Wall had another impressive quarter by leading the Wizards with 10 points and six assists. With Marcin Gortat picking up his third foul and having to sit, Kevin Seraphin came off the bench scoring six points and two rebounds in six minutes. The Wizards reached their largest lead of the game thus far with a 22 point advantage. As the Raptors fans were silenced, they saw their team down 97-75 going into the fourth.
The Raptors made one last push as they were able to cut the lead down to 10 with 1:47 left, but it was too late. Lou Williams led the Raptors with 12 points while Patrick Patterson chipped in with eight. The Wizards were outscored 31-20 in the quarter, but still were able to seal the victory 117-106.
The series switches over to Washington as Toronto tries to avoid being swept. In NBA history, a team who wins their first two road playoff games has won the series 26 out of 29 times. The Wizards have been dominant in both games on the backboard, which has played a huge role in their success. Game 3 is set for Friday 8pm ET on ESPN2.