Raptors' Fred VanVleet (shoulder) ruled out for Game 1 against the Wizards


The No. 1 seed Toronto Raptors defeated the No. 8 Washington Wizards, 114-106, on Saturday, April 14, in the opening day of the 2018 NBA Playoffs. Toronto has played 13 series in franchise history and won one Game 1, beating Philadelphia in the second round in 2001. This game, in which he shot 6-for-17, illustrated that he has become an expert in doing just that.

The Wizards had memorably swept the Raptors out of the playoffs in the first round back in 2015, then the No. 5 seed to Toronto's No. 4. The score evenly matched the eight-point spread, and the game went over the total of 211 points.

"That's one reason why we did change things", Casey said. Guys played their role. "It's the same role they've played all year", Casey said.

Indeed, it was a unit featuring four reserves - including Nogueira - alongside Kyle Lowry that pulled away in the fourth quarter after the Wizards hung around (and then some) through the first three, thanks largely to the brilliance of John Wall. Toronto had 67 games with at least 20 assists, up from 34 the previous year, and averaged 33 shots a game from beyond the arc, third most in the National Basketball Association.

Wizards: Wall had six assists in the second quarter and 10 in the first half.

Anunoby made his first two 3-pointers and led Toronto with eight points in the first as the Raptors led 28-23 after one.

And while the Raptors didn't dress backup point guard Fred VanVleet, who sat out with a sore shoulder, they still managed to wear down the Wizards with their depth.

But the victory also ended a problematic streak for Toronto.

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"He was great", Casey said of Anunoby. "He doesn't play in five or 10 straight games, but when he's going to come on the court, he's ready".

"We've got the upmost confidence in our teammates, the way we've been playing all year", said DeRozan.

Lowry led the Raptors with almost 38 minutes played while DeRozan logged 35.

The speedy Wall averaged 19.4 points and 9.6 assists this season.

Afterward Wizards coach Scott Brooks acknowledged the risk implicit in containing DeRozan and Lowry, and forcing other players to beat you. "Other than that, we were just trying to find energy, speed, and quickness to match theirs".

"They're a good team". "VanVleet didn't play tonight but Wright came in and had a terrific game. He's one of the best, if not the best big-man shooter in the league".

After getting badly outshot by Cleveland in last season's playoffs, Casey made three-point shooting a focus this season, and Saturday they shot 16-for-30 from beyond the arc.