The Toronto Raptors looked to be doing it again -- that is, going into Playoff Raptors mode. At halftime of Game 1 against the Washington Wizards, they trailed by four, and Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan had combined for just seven points on 2 of 8 shooting from the field.
But after a tense second half, the entire city of Toronto can breathe a sigh of relief. The Raptors won, 114-106, to go up 1-0 in the series. And, more importantly, snap their 10-game losing streak in Game 1s. In each of their past 10 playoff series, the Raptors had started off with a loss, including six times at home, which was truly a remarkable streak.
Lowry and the rest of the Raptors were well aware of the pressure, with the All-Star point guard, "Our Game 1 is our Game 7 tomorrow." As it turned out, leaning into the pressure worked for the Raps.
#WeTheNorth— NBA (@NBA) April 15, 2018
Game 1 goes to the @Raptors!
TOR has 6 players score in double figures, led by 23 from Ibaka, and tops the @WashWizards 114-106 at home to start their #NBAPlayoffs!
Delon Wright: 18 PTS, 4 AST
DeRozan: 17 PTS, 6 AST
John Wall: 23 PTS, 15 AST pic.twitter.com/DTkVhatvWx
Serge Ibaka led the way with 23 points and 12 rebounds, while DeRozan added 17 points and six assists. And as they have all season, the Raps got a huge boost from their bench, who combined to score 42 points -- including 17 from Delon Wright.
Now, for once, the Raptors are the ones in control heading into Game 2. But they'll have to wait a few days to play again, as Game 2 isn't until Tuesday night.