Game 6 will be played at Capital One Arena in Washington on Friday night, with the Wizards facing elimination.
Clearly, this was the most competitive game of the series and the lack of separation by either team reflected that tightness and competitiveness until the likes of J.V., Wright and Miles took their game to another level.
The only team in the National Basketball Association to avoid losing three straight at any point this season, the Raptors went 5-0 following back-to-back losses during the regular season, and have not lost three straight since last year's second-round sweep against Cleveland. The 27-year old point guard has not had success from deep, going 3 for 16 three-point range through five games, and he is posting an average of 26.6 points and 12.2 assists in this series.
If unsuccessful, the next time the Wizards step onto the floor will be this fall when the NBA's 2018 regular season begins. Also, while Toronto did not rebound well in game five, I am confident they can make the necessary adjustments from a rebounding standpoint as overall they are the better rebounding team. "I hope we don't have to come back here".
Through the first three quarters, Washington seemed the hungrier team in a back-and-forth battle that saw neither team lead by double digits until the game's last couple of minutes. "He's a big key to their team when they go small". It was much-needed secondary scoring for the Raptors on a night when DeMar DeRozan and Kyle Lowry combined for 49 points.
After entering the fourth with eight points and six rebounds, Jonas Valanciunas had six points and seven rebounds in the final 12 minutes.
Part of the problem was how Washington took so long in the shot clock to create a look or attack the rim, which is not to take away from Toronto's defensive commitment. Durant then made a pair of foul shots for a 97-91 cushion with 24 seconds remaining.
There is no understating the degree to which the Raptors wanted to win this.
"He's a tough cover", Casey said. Kelly Oubre Jr. converted a three-point play with a dunk and a free throw that gave the Wizards an 87-82 lead with nine minutes to play. Bradley Beal wasn't as productive as game three and four in Wednesday's loss, netting 20 points on an 8 for 20 shooting performance. These Raptors were deep and talented and they played a style of basketball that was conducive to winning in the modern NBA, stressing ball movement and three-pointers.
The Wizards offered a more subtle form of disapproval when Davis blew his whistle on Gortat, an aggressive player whose method of setting screens has caught the attention of the Raptors. Washington finished with 14 offensive rebounds, while Toronto had six.