Pacers force game seven, Raptors and Jazz advance

Pacers force game seven, Raptors and Jazz advance

Pacers force game seven, Raptors and Jazz advance

Toronto has been eliminated by Cleveland each of the past two seasons - swept in the second round a year ago, and beaten in six games in the conference finals in 2016.

John Wall had 23 points and eight assists in Game 6 for Washington.

"I think the overall confidence that we have in our group, coach has kind of just instilled that into all of us", Lowry said. DeRozan believes the Raptors have turned the corner, and are a threat to make the National Basketball Association finals. He is the engine, the toughness.

The Jazz will square off against the Houston Rockets in the first game of their series on Sunday.

So now they wait to see who they play.

But the Raps didn't look at ease in the first quarter. They don't have enough cap room to sign a star this summer, and there aren't many even willing to take a meeting. Kelly Oubre wasn't a trainwreck defensively. He logged a career-high 36.3 minutes per game this season, trying to keep the Wizards afloat while Wall was out from the end of January to the end of March. That's when the Raptors went on a 12-4 run, with Van Vleet contributing three assists.

Wall and Beal were held to a total of 3-for-12 shooting and a combined seven points in the fourth quarter on Wednesday. Washington was up 53-50 at halftime.

It was an alley-oop pass from Lowry to DeRozan half-way through the third quarter that finally gave Toronto its first lead of the night. In less than six minutes of work, that group turned a five-point deficit into a five-point lead.

Game 6 will be Wall's 10th game since returning from left knee surgery at the end of March.

BC-BKN-Raptors Advance, 704DeRozan-Lowry duo takes Raps to 2nd round, with bench's helpAP Photo VZN112, VZN123, VZN124, VZN122, VZN113Eds: With AP Photos.

You may put away your aspirins, fellas.

One of the biggest surprises for the Toronto Raptors this season was the impact and utter dominance of their bench in the regular season. The Wizards led by 10 twice more in the quarter before Toronto closed with a 8-4 run. "We fought and we came up short".

So as Toronto's pair of All-Star guards sat there, waiting for the other to talk, DeRozan eventually spoke up, not to respond, but to kid to his running mate: "You want me to answer everything". "You might get a team that's going to lose to the worst team in the league - or can beat the best team in the league". "But that's my job to go out there and set the table".

After a rough first trip to Washington earlier this series - where the Wizards won Games 3 and 4 and doubt started to creep into the minds of Raptors' fans (and maybe players) - this was redemption.

Toronto would crush Washington 29-14 in the final quarter.

However, the real test was yet to come and the real question on everyone's lips was still echoing, could the Raptors carry this style of play and success into the postseason?

Reserve point guard Fred VanVleet, limited by a shoulder injury earlier in the series, scored just five points. "It's a lot. You can't just pinpoint it on one thing". This ignited a fast break that ended with Siakam scoring over Wall and screaming on the ground in celebration, just like the raucous crowd of lunatics at "Jurassic Park" outside the Air Canada Centre. "We just have a cool factor when he's there". They also had increased minutes as the load was eased on Lowry and DeRozan who both saw their minutes decreased.

"I played 31 minutes, DeMar played 33". They lost two games in a row before winning two games at home to tie the series at 2-2.

"On any given night, our bench can do that", Lowry said.

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