Story By: Erin Zollars
Photos By: Sol Tucker
In a game where the Washington Wizards needed a victory to stay alive in this first round playoff match-up against the Raptors, they got just what they needed an assertive full game effort from the entire team in a 122-103 victory.
The big difference tonight was the presence of Bradley Beal in the box score. Beal scored 28 points along with John Wall contributing 28 points for the best effort so far in the playoffs.
After the game, Beal commented on what needed to be done tonight and what Scott Brooks talked to him prior to the game tonight.
Beal heeded his coach’s plea to “do his job” by scoring 21 of his 28 points in the first half, Wall delivered 28 points and 14 assists, and the eighth-seeded Wizards cut their Eastern Conference first-round playoff deficit to 2-1.
“We’re not going out to try to box every game,” Beal said, before describing Morris as “a bully with a smile.”
This was also one of the most physical games the Wizards have played in a longtime and it was set in the first few minutes the game tonight when Markieff Morris and Toronto’s OG Anunoby needed to be separated after a ear-fight that drew in other players.
Later in the game Beal and Toronto’s Jonas Valanciunas had to separated after Beal went after the ball and he took exception to the actions by Beal resulting in another technical being assessed to Beal.
Demar Derozan led Toronto with 23 points, but appeared physically beaten up in his post game press conference appearance, where he sported a Band Aid under his eye.
“Ain’t nobody fighting out here, we just are playing hard basketball and made some mistakes tonight. Give those guys a lot of credit, they have two all star players over there and we just played tough basketball, tonight said Kyle Lowry, who finished the game with 19 points.
Both teams will return to the court on Sunday at Capital One Bank Arena, before the series shifts back to Toronto for Game 5 next week.