The Truth Was About It: Washington Defeats Toronto 93-86 in Overtime | Wizards Blog Truth About It.net

The Truth Was About It: Washington Defeats Toronto 93-86 in Overtime

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Updated: April 18, 2015
washington wizards, toronto raptors, paul pierce, playoffs, game 1, truth about it, canada, nba playoffs, 2015

Saturday’s Toronto Sun Newspaper

Let’s take a quick look at how the Washington Wizards triumphed over the Toronto Raptors at Air Canada Center in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference playoffs. The Wizards now lead the series 1-0.

The “Truth is It.” 

Before Toronto’s last Game 1, against Brooklyn in 2014, Raptors GM Masai Ujiri screamed “F*ck Brooklyn!” at a pep rally outside the arena. Ujiri admitted he would not yell anything similar about Washington this year out of respect for President Obama. But Paul Pierce then caused a stir in Canada by pontificating that he was not too worried about Toronto in the playoffs because they lacked an “it” factor. This was Ujiri’s response when asked about Pierce’s candid assessment of his squad:

“Honestly, I don’t have enough money to respond to him, but I think if I did have enough money, everybody knows exactly how I would respond to him and how the whole of Toronto would respond to it.”

Welp. Here’s Ujiri is at the pep rally on Saturday before the Wizards and Raptors game:

The Raptors fans at “Jurassic Park” ate it up and responded with “F*ck Paul Pierce” chants.

Pierce expected the boos to come and the Toronto faithful delivered raucous jeers throughout beginning of the game. “Paul Pierce Sucks!” was screamed at deafening levels that could be easily heard on the T.V. broadcast. And then … the Truth About “It” was served cold for the Air Canada crowd on a Hall of Famer platter.

Washington went small and Toronto had no answer for Pierce at the 4 spot. During a stretch in the second quarter, Pierce made four straight baskets, two of which were 3-pointers. He hushed the crowd and gave Washington a sudden command of the game.

Pierce then drilled the first bucket of the overtime, a long 3, which eased Washington’s nerves after their fourth quarter collapse. They would never trail again.

Pierce’s 20 points were the most he has accumulated in months. When asked about this fact, Pierce joked “I was just resting.”

(Oh, Hey Ujiri, thanks for taking JaVale McGee off Washington’s hands by sending Nene to D.C.)

Elite Washington Defense.

A main storyline of the series is how the contrasting styles of these teams would shake out. Toronto has a top 5 offense in the NBA and Washington ranks top 5 in defense. The Wizards put the screws into the Raptors in Game 1, holding them to 18 points below their season average (104 ppg), even with an extra five minute overtime. The Raptors shot 35-for-92 from the field (38%) and 6-for-29 on 3-pointers (22%).

In two crucial overtime possessions, Washington trapped Toronto to get the ball out of DeMar DeRozan’s hands, and it worked out to spectacular effect.

Game of Runs.

From the 6:37 mark of the second quarter, Washington out-scored Toronto, 17-6 to take a 46-42 lead into halftime.

The Wizards went on a 13-3 run between the end of the third and the beginning of the fourth quarter to build a 74-59 lead with less than nine minutes left in the game.

The Raptors responded with a 23-8 charge to finish out regulation tied at 82.

Washington began overtime on a 7-0 run, holding Toronto scoreless until there were 29 second remaining. The Wizards had 11 points to four points for the Raptors in the extra stanza, and Toronto’s four points were all of the uncontested ‘let ’em take the 2 so they don’t get 3′ variety.

Whew.

Wizards Killer Lou Williams led Toronto’s late fourth quarter finish by drilling two long range 3-pointers, causing a familiar angst among Washington fans.

Greivis Vasquez tied the game up on a deep 3 with 20 seconds left in regulation. His celebratory wiggle would have made Antoine Walker blush. After a predictable Wall isolation jumper failed, Toronto threw up a lob from the side of the court on an inbounds play with 0.4 seconds remaining that was almost tipped in by Otto Porter. If the Wizards lost a playoff game by their own player, poor Otto would have been enshrined in the Shaqtin’-a-Fool Hall of Fame (Michael Ruffin Category).

Exhale….

Erratic Panda.

Bradley Beal shot multiple air balls, hit the side of the back board, and missed many wide open looks that he normally connects on. From the outset, he looked nervous. He shot 1-for-9 in the first half (0-4 on 3s), finished 6-for-23 for the game. He made only one of seven 3-point attempts. However, Beal also looked aggressive driving to the basket, which was enough bamboo to sustain him during lean times from the 3-point line.

Big Panda finally got it going in the second half. His And-1 at the end of regulation that fouled out Lowry was set up to be the play of the game until Greivis hit his big shot while a recovering Beal found his feet after falling to the floor.

However, Beal didn’t allow his poor shooting night affect other parts of his game. Beal pulled down nine rebounds, chipped in six assists, and his steal in overtime put the game away for good.

Missing Hump.

Kris Humphries did not play in the game at all and Kevin Seraphin was chosen over him instead. Seraphin did a few nice things offensively but struggled on defense. It was still an odd decision since it was assumed that Humphries had earned a spot in the postseason rotation with his reliability over the course of the year.

Stat of the night. 

Raptors guards Lowry, DeRozan, Terrence Ross, and Lou Williams shot a combined 15-for 57 from the field (26%) and 2-for-19 on 3-pointers (11%).

The Raptors franchise is now 0-for-7 all time in the first game of playoff series.

Game 2 is Tuesday night in Toronto at 8 p.m.

Vine Machine.

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Adam McGinnis
Reporter / Writer / Media at TAI
Adam is a bro from the Midwest who's been bopping around the District of Columbia for years. He's down with a range of sports, etc. and has covered the Washington Wizards for TAI since 2010.