Youth Will Be Served: Wall, Beal and Porter Claim The North | Wizards Blog Truth About It.net

Youth Will Be Served: Wall, Beal and Porter Claim The North

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Updated: April 21, 2015

[April 21, 2015: Jurassic Park Left in Ruins]

[April 21, 2015: Jurassic Park Left in Ruins]

John Wall, Bradley Beal, and yes, even young Otto Porter stepped up to give Washington a 2-0 lead over Toronto on Wednesday night via a commanding 117-106 win in Canada. Current ages: 24, 21, and 21. Before youth-serving D.C. basketball returns to America (as the elder Paul Pierce prefers not to go through customs again), let’s react to what happened, rapidly. Keep with the scrolling…

How it happened.

When Kyle Lowry… picked up his second and third fouls within 10 seconds of each other just under three minutes into the second quarter and was subsequently provided a seat, the Raptors had a six-point lead. Washington then went on a 31-14 run to end the first half up 60-49. Everyone in, on, and around Toronto knew that Lowry needed to have a bounce-back game in the worst way for Toronto to succeed, and him having to sit was demoralizing, compounded by the fact that Greivis Vasquez replaced him on defense versus John Wall & Co.

When Paul Pierce… was inserted at the 4-spot for the second time in as many playoff games with 8:35 left in the second quarter (this time replacing Drew Gooden), the Wizards were down four points, 35-31. Two Lou Williams free throws queued up before the timeout gave Toronto a 37-31 lead. The Wizards then went on a 27-12 run with Pierce at the 4 until the 56 second mark in the second quarter when Gooden was subbed back in. Nene spent about five minutes at the 5, Gortat spent just under three minutes there; Washington made 11-of-14 field goals to 5-of-10 from Toronto.

These two events just about coincided. All but four of Washington’s points in that 31-14 run came with Pierce at the 4. So what more determined the game? Neither. It was Bradley Beal, who went 6-for-7 from the field with 13 points over the last nine minutes of the second quarter (16 total points in the period). Randy Wittman’s offense knew that it had exactly what it needed to win the game, a different, non-#PandaRange Big Panda (which is Beal’s nickname, in case you didn’t know). Beal went 4-for-4 at the basket during that stretch and 7-for-11 over the course of the night en route to a game-high (and playoff-high) 28 points.

What it means.

It means that Washington has gone up 2-0 on the road in the playoffs two seasons in a row. The Wizards are the only road team that won Game 1 in this year’s playoffs. And, according to this guy, going into tonight since 2003, the road team was 4-23 in Game 2 after winning Game 1. Make it 5-23, with Washington owning two of those five.

Furthermore, according to Comcast’s Steve Buckhantz, the playoff road team was 29-95 all time in Game 2 after winning Game 1 (make it 30 now).

The Wizards never let their Game 2 lead get within single digits after the 7:07 mark of the third quarter but scared plenty of the bejeezus out of fans, followers, and front office folk alike, probably, when they let Toronto get within 10 points after a Vasquez 3-pointer with 3:23 left. Didn’t matter.

Hits.

After going 11-for-41 with 26 combined points in Game 1, a Wizards win, John Wall and Bradley Beal went 20-for-37 with a combined 54 points in Game 2, another Wizards win.

Misses.

Kyle Lowry and Sweet Lou Williams are a combined 14-for-49 over two games (43 total points). It can’t continue, but ouch. I mean, good. Great, even.

Stat(s) of the Night.

The Raptors didn’t get their first offensive rebound until 6:18 left in the third quarter (Jonas Valanciunas); Marcin Gortat picked up this fourth foul and was forced to sit on that second chance for Toronto. Lowry, however, picked up this fourth foul just over two minutes later and the Wizards, mostly regardless, continued rolling. Overall, Washington won the battle on the glass 45-28 (10-5 offensive).

And even though Beal’s playoff-high 28 points and Wall’s playoff-high (and franchise record) 17 assists provided the main part of headline, we’d be remiss if we didn’t mention Otto Porter’s 15 points (6-8 FGs, 2-3 3s), nine rebounds (4 offensive), and countless ball-tips, atta-boys, and right-place-at-the-right-times on the evening. His most meaningful game in a Wizards uniform, ever.

What’s Next.

Game 3 will be in D.C. on Friday at 8 p.m. and Game 4, still totally necessary, will be in D.C. at 6:30 p.m. on Sunday (previously 7 p.m.). A road team that’s won the first two games of a seven-game series on the has probably gone on to win the series at a greater rate than we care to mention at this point (93%, Twitter might have told me). No matter. Wizards still going to Wizard, good or bad, but wherever that may lay, this team certainly seems to have the talent, mental, and coaching, yes, coaching, advantage in this particular series.

 

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Kyle Weidie
Founder / Editor / Reporter / Writer at TAI
Kyle founded TAI in 2007 and has been weaving in and out the world of Wizards ever since, ducking WittmanFaces, jumping over G-Wiz, and avoiding stints on the DNP-Conditioning list. He has covered the Washington pro basketball team as a member of the media since 2009. Kyle currently lives in Brooklyn, NY with his wife, loves basketball, and has no pets.