Washington Wizards @ Toronto Raptors – Game 5

By: Nabeela Damji

Thursday, April 26, 2018


Somewhere in between me inhaling a hotdog and a large bag of popcorn, there was a basketball game at the ACC.  On a night where literally every Toronto team was in action, the Raptors won a back and forth battle in style, as they defeated the Washington Wizards 108-98 in Game 5 to take a 3-2 series lead.  

After a foul on Bradley Beal right of the tipoff, I wondered if that would set the tone for the Wizards first quarter play.  It didn’t. There goes my dream of being an analyst.  John Wall was dominant for the Wizards in the first as they took  a 24-23 lead after one. On the other side of the ball was the Demar DeRozan show.  With 20pts under his belt after two quarters, and Jonas Valanciunas doing a great job protecting the ball, the Raptors struggled early, but were able to come within one to end the quarter. Jakob Poeltl on Valanciunas “ he had some really good plays on defence, he had a steal, and that’s really what got u going” That, added with a monster block by Kyle Lowry in the first got the Raps going. The quarter ended with the Toronto bench allowing Washington to go on a run which led to the lead at the end of the quarter.

During the second quarter, the Wizards run continued on, until it was time for the Toronto bench to show what they hadn’t accomplished in the last two games.  They showed up.  Jakob Poeltl with nine points on the night was impressive to say the least. Delon Wright had 8 of his 18 points at the half. DeRozan, shooting 50% from the field had an impressive team leading 20 points by the end of the second.  The ever-persistent Wizards did a great job defensively in the paint, not just in the second, but throughout the game, and managed to cut the lead within one heading to the half. DeRozan had 20 at the half leading his team. CJ Miles said of the Wizards coverage “I tell my wife its like being on a date, were literally eye to eye the whole time.”

The third quarter, was difficult for the Raptors.  As I like to call it, the third quarter meltdown, DeRozan had 6 points in the frame, and the team endured too many turnovers. The Wizards were winning most of the loose balls and dominating the boards, outrebounding Toronto 50-35 after three quarters of play.

The final frame was where things started to get interesting.  The fourth quarter started off poorly for Toronto, with Washington going on an early run, and taking a five-point lead.  With less than ten minutes left in the game, Coach Casey assembled a lineup that had played all of seven minutes together in during the regular season.  Total.  DeMar DeRozan, Kyle Lowry, Jonas Valanciunas, Delon Wright and C.J. Miles closed out the game. Miles after the game said "we just played hard man.  That was fun game to play, everybody competing, and I think the biggest thing we did was all five of us communicated and we just got after it”. DeRozan and Lowry combined for 49-points on greater than 50-percent shooting on the night.

After the game, Casey said of the lineup "We were trying to get something.  You’re searching you’re trying to pull strings and we had some guys that didn’t have their best games tonight, and we were searching."  

Delon Wright off the bench scored 18 in the game including a three in the fourth with Casey stating "well he made one from Barrie, I think is that what it is up north?"Be it in Barrie or downtown Toronto, the Raptors were making waves, with a chance to close out the series in Washington on Friday.

Raptors 108- 98 Wizards