Wizards Look to Even Series Against the Raptors

Troy Haliburton

Saturday, April 21, 2018 7:26 PM UTC

Saturday, Apr. 21, 2018 7:26 PM UTC

The Raptors had embarrassed the Wizards in Toronto, but Washington used their playoff home court advantage to stay alive in the series. Will they have enough energy to even the series before heading back through customs?

Toronto Raptors (45-39-1 ATS) vs Washington Wizards (38-46-1 ATS)

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Free Pick: Wizards +1.5Best Line Offered: at Bookmaker

Washington faced their biggest task of the 2018 season when they stepped on the court against the Toronto Raptors Friday evening. The Wizards could have potentially been down 3-0 in a season series, which would have been a virtual death sentence, as no team has ever come back from facing a 3-0 deficit in an NBA playoff series. The Wizards were able to keep hope alive in the series by channeling the focus of their two All-Stars and the dark energy of their key role guys.

John Wall and Bradley Beal put the team on their backs, scoring 28 points apiece and outdueling the All-Star backcourt of Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan. Beal got himself going early in the game by scoring 21 of his 28 points before halftime and playing with an aggressiveness that much more closely resembles the guy who took control of the team in Wall's 41 game absence this season as opposed to the guy that showed up in the first two games of the series. Scott Brooks apologized to Beal after Game 2 because he knew he needed to get his shooter more shots within the offense. Beal went 10-19 from the field, including 4-9 from three-point range.

It was key for the Wizards to close the gap between the Raptors from behind the arc in game three. Toronto had outscored the Wizards 87-59 on points derived from three-point shots in Games 1 & 2 of the series, and while Toronto still hit more threes in Game 3 (12-10), the Wizards were able to at least keep up with the barrage of deep shots.

Toronto was not able to keep up with the physicality of the Wizards players who were channeling their “Death Row DC” vibes from last season’s playoffs. Markieff Morris got into a couple of confrontations with OG Anuoby and Serge Ibaka and was able to get them off of their games, while Mike Scott continues to be the epitome of efficiency.

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Keef vs. Anunoby
Beal vs. Valanciunas
Wall vs. Ibaka#WizRaptors 😠 pic.twitter.com/jdJ3qgIuaz

— NBC Sports Wizards (@NBCSWizards) April 21, 2018
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Washington was finally able to outscore the Raptors bench 35-32 and they will need to duplicate that performance again at home on Sunday. The Raptors are certainly missing Fred VanVleet who missed another game with his bruised shoulder that he suffered in the last regular season game.

The Raptors will need to get an increased effort from their star players on the road since their role players will be battling inspired Wizards counterparts. Washington is 6-2 on the season ATS in home games in which they are underdogs, and with the Wizards getting two points in the spread, it makes for another opportunity for bettors to jump on a potential money maker.

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