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Kyle Lowry says Wizards are ‘not a normal 8th seed’

Kyle Lowry

The Toronto Raptors shook off a 16-year winless streak for Game 1 of the postseason, grabbing a much-needed confidence booster against a threatening Washington Wizards team.

Point guard Kyle Lowry warned that this Wizards team was no ordinary one, likely falling victim to end-of-season struggles and a tight playoff race that strung them in the last spot of the playoffs.

“That team is a really good team,” said Lowry, according to Candace Buckner of The Washington Post. “They’re not a normal eight seed.”

The Wizards were within a point to start the fourth quarter, aided by balanced scoring from their starting five and contributions from Mike Scott off the bench, after having passed the concussion protocol.

Yet the Raptors bench proved to make all the difference — doing conversely what most teams do in the postseason by shrinking their rotations — expanding theirs to 11, even without a key cog available in Fred Van Vleet.

Toronto doubled up Washington’s bench scoring 42 to 21, and proved that its depth has been what’s carried it all the way to a No. 1 seed in the East.

Lowry’s 11 points and nine assists held down the fort for the starters, while Delon Wright made his mark with 18 points, four assists, and three steals off the bench, aiding to a 16-of-30 night from beyond the arc for one of the most serious contenders in the East.