The Toronto Raptors pulled out a win in Game 5, giving them a chance to eliminate the Washington Wizards in Game 6 on Friday.
The Toronto Raptors found themselves in a dogfight with the Washington Wizards in Game 5 of their first-round series. When the Wizards took a five-point lead early in the fourth quarter, it looked like another Raptors playoff disappointment was on the way.
But Toronto turned the tide behind a pair of unlikely heroes in Delon Wright and Jonas Valanciunas, giving them a 108-98 victory and a 3-2 series lead. The Raptors will try to close out the Wizards in Game 6 back in the nation’s capital, though the road team hasn’t yet won a game in this series.
Wright scored 11 of his 18 points in the game-deciding fourth quarter, including seven straight to turn a one-point Raptors lead into a comfortable eight-point advantage with two minutes to play. His long 3-pointer at the end of the shot clock with 3:38 remaining may have been the biggest shot of Toronto’s season.
Valanciunas has been a stranger to fourth quarters, but Dwane Casey finally went to the Lithuanian big man when it mattered most. Valanciunas delivered with strong play on both ends down low, including six points, seven rebounds (three offensive) and a big steal of John Wall in the final frame. He had 14 points and 13 rebounds for the game.
While the Raptors came up big down the stretch after folding in Game 4, this time it was the Wizards’ offense to fall apart in crunch time. Washington shot 33.3 percent from the field and a woeful 1 of 10 from 3 in the quarter. That one triple came in the final seconds when the game was already out of hand, so the Wizards missed their first nine 3-pointers of the quarter.
Wall had 26 points, nine rebounds and nine assists, but he had seven turnovers and shot 2 of 6 in the fourth quarter. Bradley Beal had 20 points but missed several good looks with the game hanging in the balance.
Date: Friday, April 27
Time: 7 p.m. ET
Location: Washington, D.C.
Venue: Capital One Arena
TV Info: ESPNews, NBC Sports Washington, TSN
Live Stream: Watch live on Fubo TV. Sign up now for a free seven-day trial. Cable subscribers can watch the live stream on Watch ESPN.
This has the feel of going the full seven games, but perhaps the Raptors can buck the trend and grab a win on the road. Getting Fred VanVleet back from a shoulder injury would help the cause, though there are no indications that he’ll be ready to go after playing only three minutes in the series thus far.