Game four between the Toronto Raptors and the Washington Wizards concluded at the Capital One Area with a Wizards win. The Wizards scored 40 points in the 3rd quarter to mask an 11-point halftime deficit. The Raptors came out firing and was in sync early keeping a double-digit lead for most of the first half. DeMar DeRozan got to the free throw line 18 times in this game and looked every bit of the All-Star that he most certainly is. His backcourt mate Kyle Lowry finished the game with 19 points and added five assists.
This game was definitely a tale of two halves. The Wizards came out strong in the 3rd quarter and their two all-stars took over. Bradley Beal struggled with fouls all game, and eventually fouled out in the last five minutes of the game. Beal finished the game with 31 points and could have had more had he not fouled out. John Wall took over with his backcourt mate fouling out adding 27 points and 14 assists. He also hit a jumper late in the fourth to give the Wizards a 102-96 lead late in the fourth quarter. After taking heavy criticism for the first two games of the series, Beal has been on fire scoring 28 points in Game 3 and 31 points in Game 4.
Another spark for the Wizards in this game was Kelly Oubre. Oubre who is still struggling with his shot affected the game with his defense and energy. He caused two key charging fouled that turned the tide of this game. Oubre also played great defense on one of the most explosive players in the NBA in Demar DeRozan. His presence seems to always give this team a shot in the arm, and if the Wizards want to win this series Oubre will have to keep up his defense and energy. If Oubre can somehow get his shot to start falling Toronto will be in real trouble. Oubre finished game 4 with ten points and hit some clutch free throws down the stretch. One Beal fouled out Oubre checked in and kept up his much-needed energy.
For Toronto, they head back home to Air Canada Centre with the series now tied at two apiece. Lowry and DeRozan have been deadly at home, so their confidence should not be completely gone. They are the number one seed in the east for a reason, and their bench play has carried over thus far in this series. Fred Van Fleet being out has been extremely difficult as he is one of the best backup point guards in the NBA. His presence is surely being missed for the Raptors. Game 5 will be on Wednesday in Toronto and tip-off is set for 7 o clock. Toronto is a dangerous team and can get hot at home. Both these teams are playing their hearts out each and every game as it is now a best of three series. This is shaping up to be a great finish and one for the ages in the first round of the eastern conference NBA Playoffs.