Otto Porter Needs to Step Up in Game 5 — Washington Wizards

DeMar DeRozan slams on the Washington Wizards during Game 5 on Wednesday.

But after losing two games in Washington, the Raptors returned to Toronto with confidence in their home court that had seen them lose just seven times in the regular season.

DeRozan had 30 of his 32 points through three quarters, then turned facilitator in the fourth.

The Raptors survived a 26-point, nine-rebound performance from John Wall, and 20 points from Bradley Beal.

But Wright's 18 points and five rebounds in a 108-98 win earned him a spot in a late-night news conference and a shout-out from head coach Dwane Casey, who mentioned Wright unprompted when he met with reporters. "We need to get some more ball movement".

"Both teams held up banners that said "#TorontoStrong" to honor those affected by the van attack that happened in Toronto on Monday. It's going to do wonders for Scott Brooks and the Washington Wizards if Porter has a great game in Game Five. The sequence put Toronto ahead by 11 points, and the Raptors took a 51-40 lead into halftime.

Kyle Lowry had 19 points, but he didn't score over the last 10 minutes of the game. But Toronto's ball-moving, three-point focused offence didn't show up right away Wednesday. Valanciunas defended it nearly perfectly.

VanVleet injured his shoulder in Toronto's season finale against Miami, when he ran into Bam Adebayo who was setting a screen.

Neither team could separate from the other through three quarters as Toronto held a slim 1-point lead, but in the fourth quarter the Raptors opened it up behind the unlikeliest of duos.


The Wizards' rebounding was a bright spot in Wednesday's loss, collecting a total of 50 rebounds. For the season, Washington has defeated opponents by an average of 0.7 points.

DeMar DeRozan had a real rough go of it down the stretch. Valanciunas, who made his first fourth-quarter appearance of the series, had 14 points and 13 rebounds. A big Valanciunas rebound then set up a Lowry go-ahead layup. The 24-year old shooting guard features a solid 43% shooting percentage from three-point range this series, and he is averaging 21.4 in five games.

"I was ready to do my job".

"We just missed some shots".

"I've never been back here before", he said to himself. Beal drained a three to give the Wizards their first lead of the game three minutes later.

"I think we always prepare for any lineup that goes out there", DeRozan said. The youngster also hit some very timely shots in the clutch after being trigger shy in Game 4. "I was trying to be unselfish and make the extra pass", said Wright. "But with that came some bad shots that I will definitely understand next time". "When I saw the film (of the shots he turned down), I was like, 'That's insane'".

But the Raptors failed to take advantage.

The Raptors got crushed on the boards 50-35. In contrast, Washington's as healthy as could be reasonably expected, with even Wall appearing to be close to, if not at, full strength despite his own ankle issues the last couple games. From Toronto's perspective, this is not at all surprising.

The two teams will tangle again on Friday night, as the Raps try to force elimination in the loud confines of Capital One Arena in Washington.

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