DeRozan, Raptors go up 2-0 vs Wizards
TORONTO — DeMar DeRozan’s big game put the Toronto Raptors in a place they’ve never been before: up 2-0 in a playoff series.
DeRozan matched his career playoff-high with 37 points, Jonas Valanciunas had 19 points and 14 rebounds and the Raptors beat the Washington Wizards 130-119 on Tuesday night as Toronto took a 2-0 lead in a playoff series for the first time in franchise history.
“I didn’t go out there planning to score 37 points, I went out there to be aggressive,” DeRozan said.
Kyle Lowry had 13 points and a career playoff-high 12 assists as Toronto set team playoff records for points in a quarter, a half, and a game.
C.J. Miles scored 18, Delon Wright had 11 and Serge Ibaka 10 for the Raptors, who snapped an NBA-worst 10-game losing streak in Game 1s with a 114-106 win on Saturday.
DeRozan, whose 37th point came on a friendly roll on a fourth quarter free throw, equalled his total from Game 3 of the second round against Cleveland last year. It was his 12th career 30-point game in the postseason. The Raptors are 9-3 in those games.
“I though DeMar was super on the offensive end,” Raptors coach Dwane Casey said. “We needed every point. He did an excellent job of reading what the defense was doing to him and making them pay.”
Lowry called DeRozan “an MVP-type caliber player.”
DeRozan missed his first two shots but connected on 14 of his final 21 attempts, including three of six from long range. He also converted a four-point play.
“When he’s making 3’s, he’s very tough to guard,” Washington’s John Wall said of DeRozan.
Toronto, which made a team playoff record 16 3-pointers Saturday, connected on 13 of 35 from long range in Game 2, making only two in the second half.
Wall scored 29 points, Mike Scott had a career playoff-high 20 and Ty Lawson 14 for the Wizards, who host Game 3 on Friday night.
“We’re the team that’s in the hole, we’re the team that’s desperate, but we have a lot of confidence,” Wall said. “We’re not down on ourselves at all.”
Wizards guard Bradley Beal missed eight of 11 shots and finished with nine points. Beal had more fouls in the first half (three) than made baskets (two).
“We need him,” Wizards coach Scott Brooks said. “We’re going to have trouble beating this team if he doesn’t play better.”
Trailing 100-90 to begin the fourth quarter, the Wizards cut it to 108-103 with 7:52 left on back-to-back 3-pointers by Scott and Lawson, and a pair of free throws from Wall.
Miles stopped the run with a long 3, Toronto’s first of the second half, and the Raptors put it away with a 17-4 spurt over the next four minutes. The sellout crowd roared when DeRozan forced a turnover and saved the ball from going out of bounds, then passed to Lowry who fed Wright for an alley-oop dunk with 3:38 left, putting Toronto up 125-107.
Raptors guard Fred VanVleet returned after sitting out Game 1 because of a bruised right shoulder, but looked rusty in three minutes of action at the start of the second quarter, airballing a shot and mishandling a pass before being replaced by Lowry. VanVleet did not play in the second half.
“He was tentative, he was just too tentative,” Casey said. “I felt like we had to get him out and let him rest a little bit more. He just wasn’t ready.”
Toronto set a team playoff record with 44 points in the first quarter, including 13 from DeRozan, and led 44-27 after one. All five starters made at least one 3-pointer as the Raptors shot 7 for 13 from long range.
“Seven 3s in a quarter, that got the momentum going,” Brooks said.
Brooks called two timeouts to try and slow Toronto, to little effect, while Wizards guards Wall and Beal each picked up two early fouls, forcing them to the bench.
“That kind of hurt us and they took full advantage of that,” Wall said.
Miles made three 3-pointers and scored 11 points in the second and DeRozan added seven as Toronto broke its playoff record for points in a half by taking a 76-58 lead at halftime.
Wall scored 14 points in the third while Toronto shot 0 for 7 from 3-point range, allowing the Wizards to cut it to 100-90 heading to the fourth.
Wizards: Wall went 11 for 11 at the free throw line. … Ian Mahinmi was called for a flagrant foul on a driving Ibaka in the second. … Lawson made his Wizards debut in the first, replacing Wall.
Raptors: The Raptors used 13 players, including G-League MVP Lorenzo Brown. … Toronto’s previous high for points in a quarter of a playoff game was 39, set against Orlando in 2008. Their previous high for points in a half was 63, set against Miami in 2016. … The Raptors had 10 assists on 16 made baskets in the first. … Valanciunas had eight rebounds in the opening quarter. … The Raptors also took a double-digit lead in the first quarter of Game 1. … Coach Dwane Casey celebrated his 61st birthday.
Brooks had this to say about DeRozan and Lowry: “Both of those guards are All-Stars for a reason. Maybe next year I won’t vote for them.”
Valanciunas had 12 points and 12 rebounds in the first half. It was his 12th playoff double-double, matching Antonio Davis for the most in Raptors history.
The game was briefly halted in the second after a vendor spilled several cans of beer along the sideline opposite Toronto’s bench.
Game 3 is Friday night in Washington.