Casey feels Raptors are comfortable in the unusual role of playoff favourite

Casey feels Raptors are comfortable in the unusual role of playoff favourite

The Washington Wizards could not recover from a very sluggish start in their 130-119 game two loss, and their backs are now against the wall.

John Wall had 23 points, 15 assists, and four steals but also was just six of 20 from the floor.

Wall's numbers were better as he added nine assists and four rebounds to a 29-point performance, leaving some fans confused as to why Wizards head coach Brooks made a decision to include him in his post-match criticisms of the team.

The Wizards started the third quarter in strong fashion to trim their deficit to 78-65 with 10:25 left.

Game 2 of the NBA Eastern Conference Quarterfinal between the Raptors and the Washington Wizards resumes tonight in Toronto. Unsurprisingly, John Wall led Washington in points for the night.

DeMar DeRozan finished with 37 points on 14-of-23 shooting before it was all said and done. (Pause for effect.) "But as a basketball player he's really good". Cavs role players will need to step up in game two after no-one else in the starting lineup besides James scored more than nine points on Sunday.

Wizards guard Bradley Beal overlooked 8 of 11 shots and finished with 9 factors. Significant contributions from one, or both of them, would have been nice, but they are far from the LVPs on this evening.

Turnovers were an issue for the second straight game for the Bucks. The Raptors put on a massive beating in Game 1 and will be looking to do the same this time around.

In Game 1 the Wizards sent two defenders at DeRozan on nearly every touch. Toronto has shot 53% and 51% in their two wins, and they have drilled a combined 29 three-pointers compared to 18 three's from the Wizards.

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It's on the Flyers now to not only be better, but be prepared for what Pittsburgh brings in response to this Game 1 spectacle. And the Penguins frustrate the Flyers so much time and time again that there are occasional bursts of physical nastiness.

And, as much as the Raptors' story this season has been one of a deep bench and a new offensive (and defensive) philosophy, it's also true that the presence of Ibaka has helped make all those changes possible. The 27-year old point guard did not play against the Raptors in the regular season.

Anthony Davis had 22 points and 13 rebounds and Rajon Rondo collected 16 points, 10 rebounds and nine assists for the Pelicans, who return home for Games 3 and 4 of the best-of-seven series.

LeBron James and the Cavs lost 98-80 in game one after in outscored them 33-14 in the first quarter.

Washington got big contributions from its bench players, including Fs Mike Scott, Kelly Oubre Jr. and G Ty Lawson, who scored 20, 14, and 14 points respectively.

He was the second-leading fourth-quarter scorer on the year, behind only DeMar DeRozan, and had more assists in the fourth than any other Raptor.

The Raptors have been playing much better lately, winning four of five heading into the postseason (3-1-1 ATS), and there is a reason they earned the top seed in the East.

Yet Wall wouldn't point it all on Beal but looked at himself as part of the reason Beal couldn't provide the spark he was expected to.

But it doesn't take stats to see that Beal was out of his normal smooth-shooting rhythm, especially when the game was on the line.

The Washington Wizards haven't produced a 50-win season since 1978-79.