Washington Wizards forward Paul Pierce. ESPN Linked
TORONTO (Sporting Alert, Box Score) — The Washington Wizards beat the Toronto Raptors 93-86 in overtime in Game 1 of an Eastern Conference first round matchup at Air Canada Centre on Saturday.
Paul Pierce, who had a lot to say in the buildup to the game in Canada, led the Wizards (46-36) with 20 points on 7-of-10 shooting, while pulling down four rebounds in 37 minutes of action.
Nene Hilario supported well with 12 points and 13 rebounds in the victory.
Washington was swept aside 3-0 during the regular season series, but Pierce was confident those results wouldn’t have affected the them.
“They beat us all year,” Pierce said during an interview. “But we just stuck with the game plan.
“We followed it, and got the win.
Pierce, who started the game with a lot of energy, revealed that he was well rested and felt good coming into these playoffs.
“Towards the end of the year I got the rest that I needed and I felt great coming into Game 1,” he added.
Despite the win, though, star guards Bradley Beal and John Wall both struggled from the floor after the pair combined for a dismal 9-of-41 in shooting.
Beal scored 16 points, but struggled from the floor, going 6-of-23 from the field. He also had nine rebounds and six assists.
Wall, in the meantime, was 5-of-18 for 10 points with eight assists and six rebounds in the win.
Amir Johnson paced the Raptors with 18 points and eight boards and DeMar DeRozan added 15 points, 11 rebounds and six assists in the defeat for the home side, which came into the game scoring well over 100 points per game.
Greivis Vasquez was 4-of-6 from the floor, include knocking down a three-pointer with 25.4 remaining on the clock to tie the game at 82-82, which send the battle into overtime. He celebrated his bucket with a shimmy.
Meanwhile, the defeat for the Raptors, who scored just two points in overtime, saw them falling to 0-7 in Game 1 of the NBA playoffs overall.
The Wizards led 46-42 at halftime.