National Basketball Association
Washington at Toronto
When: 8:00 PM ET, Tuesday, April 21, 2015
Where: Air Canada Centre, Toronto, Ontario
Paul Pierce mocked the Toronto Raptors prior to the start of the Eastern
Conference series and then made sure the Washington Wizards won the
opener. Pierce will attempt to help the Wizards take a 2-0 lead in the
first-round clash when Washington again visits Toronto in Tuesday’s Game
Pierce backed up his words by scoring five of his game-high 20 points in the overtime session of Saturday’s 93-86 victory. He then noted that the Wizards are now in the driver’s seat after stealing homecourt advantage from the Raptors. “It takes the pressure off us and puts it on them now,” Pierce told reporters. “When you win Game 1 on the road it sets the tone, it takes the pressure off us and puts it on them. I don’t mind playing the role of underdog or villain or whatever.” A second consecutive home loss would certainly add to the pressure facing Toronto, which hasn’t advanced in the playoffs since the 2000-01 campaign.
8 p.m. ET, NBATV, CSN Mid-Atlantic (Washington), TSN (Toronto)ABOUT THE WIZARDS:
Washington won the opener despite shaky efforts by the backcourt tandem of Bradley Beal and John Wall. Beal was just 6-of-23 shooting and hoisted up several poor shots while scoring 16 points and Wall tallied 10 points on 5-of-18 shooting while recording eight assists. “If you shoot the ball well, there really is hardly anything wrong with your mechanics,” Beal told reporters after extensively working on his jumper during Sunday’s voluntary workout. “It’s really all mental.”ABOUT THE RAPTORS:
Toronto also experienced substandard performances from its backcourt as starters DeMar DeRozan (6-of-20) and Kyle Lowry (2-of-10) and sixth man Lou Williams (4-of-16) were a combined 12-of-46 from the field. DeRozan had 15 points, 11 rebounds and six assists as the only Raptors’ starter to score in double digits while Lowry’s play was particularly disappointing as he had just seven points before fouling out. Power forward Amir Johnson was by far the top Toronto player in the opener as he came off the bench to produce 18 points on 8-of-12 shooting and grab eight rebounds.BUZZER BEATERS
1. Washington PF Nene (ankle) was limited to 21 minutes in the opener but was highly productive with 12 points and 13 rebounds.
2. Toronto SF Terrence Ross is shooting just 29.3 percent in eight career postseason games, including 4-of-30 from 3-point range.
3. Pierce was 4-of-7 from 3-point range in the opener while the rest of the Wizards were 2-of-14 and the Raptors were a porous 6-of-29.PREDICTION:
Raptors 91, Wizards 90
Stats and Records