Toronto Raptors: 6 Revelations from Game 3 loss to Wizards

Toronto Raptors: 6 Revelations from Game 3 loss to Wizards

It's a critical first-round Eastern Conference playoff contest in the nation's capital. The Raps have looked every bit like the East's No. 1 seed as they've handled the Washington Wizards pretty handily through the first two games of the series.

The Wizards look to carry momentum from Friday night and even the series at two games apiece with Game 4 on Sunday night in the District. Washington pushed back in the series with a 122-103 home triumph in Game 3 Friday night in a testy environment.

Toronto committed three fewer fouls (21-18) than Washington in Game 1, a total that would have been even had it not been for intentional fouling down the stretch.

By halftime of Friday night's 122-103 victory at Capital One Arena, Beal - to the delight of a packed house - had reclaimed the smooth shooting stroke that elevated him to 13th in the National Basketball Association in scoring and resulted in the sixth-year guard's first all-star selection. The Raptors, after all, outscored Washington by an average of 11 points in the first period over Games 1 and 2. The reserve missed Game 1, then was available for Game 2, but played only three minutes.

"They came out and punched us, and we allowed them to", the coach said afterward.

This wasn't Toronto "staying cool", as Lowry had urged before the game.

They were together from the start in Game 3, sparked by a raucous home crowd and a sense of frenzied desperation. The Raptors lost the points in the paint 52-44 and the rebounding battle by a 39-34 margin as well. DeMar DeRozan made his technical free throw. After Raptors wing OG Anunoby delivered a foul to Markieff Morris that sent the Wizards' forward to the floor, Morris rose and blindsided Anunoby in the back with a forearm. In the third quarter, Jonas Valanciunas was called for an offensive foul when he decked Gortat inside. The Wizards will need to win at least once in Toronto to pull the upset, and that will require more than a half's worth of defensive effort. A series of turnovers led to easy Wizards baskets and they closed the first quarter on a 12-2 run to take a one-point lead.

Wizards: Brooks announced before the game he would stick to his usual starting lineup. Washington didn't move the needle much on their perimeter shooting, hitting 10 of 23 from long range, but torched the nets at a 55.3 percent clip from the floor overall. Delon Wright wasn't almost as effective without his normal backcourt partner and the bench, which has been a strength for Toronto all season, was badly outplayed by the Wizards. The frustrated Lithuanian then played an impromptu game of "keep away" with Bradley Beal, who kept swiping for the ball and wrapped up Valanciunas before teammates, coaches, and referees once again swarmed in to try to restore order. Marcin Gortat stepped up with 16 points in his best game of the series while Mike Scott and Kelly Oubre Jr. each had 12 off the bench.

Small pockets of Raptors fans could be heard hollering after Toronto buckets. Beal and Wall outshone DeRozan and Lowry, which told the tale. "They got out in transition. and it killed us".

Toronto led by as many as nine in the first half, but couldn't hold the lead against the hot-shooting Wizards. It's not just about Brad playing better. The Raptors have not quite been the same dominant force at home as they were on the road this season, and their youngsters on the bench could be the ones most affected by the trip to DC.

In VanVleet's absence, Delon Wright and C.J. Miles should continue to see increased minutes in Game 3.

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