October 20, 2019

Washington Wizards Game 4 Review: Wizards complete sweep of Raptors with win at home

FIRST SEVEN-GAME SERIES SWEEP IN FRANCHISE HISTORY

The Washington Wizards lost all three regular season meetings against the Toronto Raptors, but as Paul Pierce has said “it’s a new season” when the Wizards found themselves going into Game 4 at home already up 3-0. Entering play, the Wizards had played 36 playoff series with zero best-of-five or best-of-seven sweeps. Leading the game from start to finish with a balance scoring attack, the Wizards ended that streak, completing a sweep behind a sellout crowd with a 125-94 win over Toronto.

DC is certainly rising.

Two minutes in and the energy and pace of the game was in the Wizards favor, up 4-2 as John  Wall was serenaded with MVP chants. Washington was methodical in their offensive approach as they got to the line for nine free throw attempts within the first six minutes while shooting 3 of 5 from the field.

Defensively, the Wizards were hustling to contest Raptors shots, who were not on fire to start the game like in Game 3, shooting a miserable 3 of 11 from the field. The Wizards began to attack Kyle Lowry, who stayed in the game after picking up two fouls, but had to sit after picking up his third with five minutes to go in the quarter. The Raptors started to make their shots, but back-to-back three-pointers from Bradley Beal and Paul Pierce stretched the lead out to 30-18. Shooting 71 percent from the field, getting 13 fast break points, and 13 points from the charity stripe gave the Wizards a 36-22 lead after the first quarter.

Toronto started the quarter on an 8-2 run to cut the Wizards lead to single digits behind consecutive 3s from Lou Williams and Grevis Vasquez. Washington responded with back-to-back threes of their own from Drew Gooden and Otto Porter that began a 13-2 run. The Raptors fought back with an 11-2 run led by Lowry, who has been quiet all series. The Wizards weathered that storm well and maintained a comfortable 66-50 lead going into halftime.

After an early turnover, the Wizards started an 11-3 run highlighted by three 3s from the combination of Pierce and Beal. Even though the Raptors started to make their shots, they could not get a stop on the Wizards. Back-to-back threes from Pierce and John Wall gave the Wizards a whopping 25 point lead. The Wizards were playing excellent team defense, they trapper DeMar DeRozan often and eventually stretched out the Wizards lead to 30. At the end of the quarter the Wizards were coasting offensively with a 102-70 lead, 12 minutes away from the second round of the postseason.

The fourth quarter started with much of the same from the Wizards as the Raptors began to hang their heads with the inevitable bounce from the playoffs approaching. The Wizards were able to get a lead of a dominating 37 points, much of which was done with Wall on the bench. Coach Randy Wittman inserted Will Bynum, Martell Webster, Rasual Butler, Kris Humphries, and Kevin Seraphin into the game when the end result was all but final. This is the first time the Wizards have won a playoff series in consecutive years since from 1977-79. When it was all said and down the Wizards were victorious by a final count of 125-94.

Why the Wizards Won:

  • The Wizards got off to an aggressive start that the Raptors were not expecting. As a result the Raptors eight first quarter fouls — including three from Kyle Lowry — led to 15 free throw attempts for the Wizards. The Wizards ended up taking 34 free throws in the game.
  • In another game in front of the Verizon Center faithful, the Wizards demonstrated that it is important to share. Six of the Wizards first seven field goals were assisted on. By the end of it all they had 30 assists on 41 made field goals.
  • The Wizards were unconscious from beyond the arc as they set a franchise record of 15 made 3-point field goals on just 26 attempts.

The Wizards will have a long rest until they have to play a game as Game 7 of this series was supposed to be played a week from today on May 3. It is likely that the Wizards will face off against their Southeastern Division rivals Atlanta Hawks in the second round of the playoffs as they have a 2-1 series lead over the Brooklyn Nets. Although the Wizards will likely have more rest, too much of it can be a good thing as the Wizards will be out of game action for a prolonged period of time. Randy Wittman spoke about intense practices before the series starts to keep the team in shape as well as avoiding possible rusty mechanics.

In the meantime for DC sports fans, the Wizards warmed up the ice for the Washington Capitals who play in a Game 7 Monday.

About Neil Dalal

Neil Dalal is a Staff Writer for District Sports Page covering the Redskins, Wizards, and Maryland Terrapins. Neil grew up in Silver Spring, MD and attends the University of Maryland. Neil has loved everything related to the Redskins, Wizards, Capitals, and Terrapins since he was eight years old. However, he favors the Orioles, as he started watching baseball before the Expos moved to DC. You can follow Neil on Twitter @NeilDalal96.

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