The crowd gathered outside Jurassic Park early Saturday morning for Game 1 of Raptors-Wizards. Inside the Air Canada Centre, the fans sang the national anthem as they did last season. After a week full of trash talking, it was time to start the playoffs.
In the first quarter, both teams came out struggling, shooting a combined 4-for-21 in the first six minutes. The Raptors led by four at the end of one. Nene -- Eric Koreen's former Twitter avatar -- grabbed seven rebounds in the first.
Paul Pierce was booed loudly during the intros, whenever he touched the ball, and even when DeMar DeRozan was at the free throw line. He went 0-for-2 from the field. But in the second quarter, he came alive, scoring 10 points as the Wizards pulled ahead. Despite a combined 3-for-15 first half from John Wall and Bradley Beal and shooting 38.8 percent from the field, the Wizards took a four point lead into halftime. The Wiz had a 29 to 12 edge on the boards, including 11 offensive rebounds.
The third quarter was no better. The Raptors offence had no rhythm whatsoever, resorting to contested jumpers and one-on-one plays. The crowd was rather subdued, and no one could blame them, there wasn't much to cheer about. Toronto, one of the top offensive teams in the league this season, had 56 points after three and trailed by nine.
After Lowry fouled out in the fourth quarter, the Raptors came alive and tied the game on a Greivis Vasquez three followed by the longest shimmy in recorded history:
The Raptors had a chance to win it at the end of regulation, with .04 left on the clock. Even though it appeared Otto Porter held onto Terrence Ross, there was no call:
In overtime, Pierce opened with a three-pointer, and the Wizards never looked back, closing with a 93-86 victory.
DeMar finished with 15 points, 11 rebounds and six assists on 6-for-20 shooting. Lowry fouled out in 33 minutes, finishing with just seven points on 2-for-10 shooting. Amir Johnson, coming off the bench, led all scorers with 18 points.
We'll have much more later. For now, what did everybody think?