FRIDAY AROUND THE NBA


FRIDAY AROUND THE NBA

Friday’s other playoffs

Wizards 122, Raptors 103

WASHINGTON

Bradley Beal heeded his coach’s plea to “do his job” by scoring 21 of his 28 points in the first half, his All-Star backcourt running mate John Wall delivered 28 points and 14 assists, and the Washington Wizards beat the Toronto Raptors 122-103 in an occasionally heated game to cut their Eastern Conference first-round playoff series deficit to 2-1. After letting the Raptors grab the first 2-0 series lead in franchise history, the Wizards came home and checked off every box coach Scott Brooks presented. They got Beal more involved after he made only three shots in Game 2; they actually led after the first quarter, 30-29; they played with enough defensive focus to get produce 19 turnovers by Toronto, leading to 28 points for Washington. Add it all up, and it was a rare recent victory for Washington, which had lost seven of eight games dating to the regular season. DeMar DeRozan led Toronto with 23 points on 10-for-22 shooting one game after scoring 37, and Kyle Lowry had 19 points and eight assists. The start initially had the look of “Here we go again,” as Toronto moved ahead 27-18. The Raptors, after all, outscored Washington by an average of 11 points in the first period over Games 1 and 2. But this time, Washington responded with a 12-point run capped by Beal’s 3 with under a minute left. Beal scored 12 in the quarter a day after he, Wall and Brooks met to discuss ways to get the All-Star shooting guard more involved in the offense. Entering Friday, Beal was averaging only 14 points in the playoffs, well below his 22.6 average during the regular season.

Associated Press

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