National Basketball Association
Preview
Toronto at Washington
When: 6:30 PM ET, Sunday, April 26, 2015
Where: Verizon Center, Washington, District of Columbia

Paul Pierce and the fifth-seeded Washington Wizards look to finish off the visiting Toronto Raptors when Game 4 of the Eastern Conference first-round series commences on Sunday. No NBA team has recovered from a 3-0 deficit in a playoff series, so fourth-seeded Toronto faces a monumental task.

Pierce tossed verbal intimidation at the Raptors prior to the series and has been tormenting them on the court during it. The veteran forward scored 11 of his 18 points in the fourth quarter of Game 3 as Washington recorded a 106-99 victory. The Toronto players are having a hard time with the notion of now having to win four straight games but coach Dwane Casey insists his squad won’t be rolling over. “We’re still on life support. It’s not over yet,” Casey told reporters. “There’s no ‘give-up’ on this team.”

TV: 6:30 p.m. ET, TNT, TSN (Toronto), CSN Mid-Atlantic (Washington)

ABOUT THE RAPTORS: Toronto shooting guard DeMar DeRozan showed life with 20 first-quarter points in Game 3 before returning to the inconsistent shooting that has plagued him in the series. DeRozan finished with 32 points on 11-of-29 shooting and is shooting 38.8 percent in the series, while point guard Kyle Lowry (15 points on 5-of-22 shooting in Game 3) continues to struggle with back and leg injuries as well as a cold and is averaging 9.3 points on 10-of-42 shooting. “At the end of the day, I’ve still got to go out there and play,” Lowry told reporters. “That’s why we get paid to play.”

ABOUT THE WIZARDS:
Pierce is averaging 16 points and has made 10-of-18 3-pointers in the series while playing like somebody much younger than 37 years old. The age factor has increased the urgency for Pierce, who is aware each memorable playoff feat could be one of his last. “I’m just enjoying the moment,” Pierce told reporters. I love playoff basketball, I love everything about it. At this point in my career, I’m savoring these moments, because I don’t know how many more of these moments I’m going to have.”

BUZZER BEATERS

1. After a subpar Game 1 showing, Wizards PG John Wall has averaged 22.5 points and 16 assists over the last two games.

2. Toronto PF Amir Johnson is 18-of-24 shooting in the series.

3. Washington C Marcin Gortat was sensational in Game 3 with 24 points (on 11-of-15 shooting), 13 rebounds, five assists and four blocked shots.

PREDICTION: Wizards 114, Raptors 107
Stats and Records
Team Comparison
  W/L Strk Home Away Day Night Div Conf
Toronto 49-36 L3 27-16 22-20 3-3 46-33 11-5 33-22
Washington 49-36 W3 30-12 19-24 3-6 46-30 10-6 33-22
Last Meeting
Toronto Washington
Date Away Home Pts Reb FG% Pts Reb FG%
4/24/15 TOR 99 WAS 106 99 41 37.4 106 45 47.4
Player Stats
Previous Matchup
Points Player Total FG% FTM
Toronto D. DeRozan 32 37.9 7
Washington M. Gortat 24 73.3 2
Rebounds Player Total Off Def
Toronto A. Johnson 12 4 8
Washington M. Gortat 13 2 11
Assists Player  
Toronto K. Lowry 7
Washington J. Wall 15
Season
Points Player Total FG% FTM
Toronto L. Williams 1369 40.2 378
Washington J. Wall 1527 43.9 328
Rebounds Player Total Off Def
Toronto J. Valanciunas 752 229 523
Washington M. Gortat 808 200 608
Assists Player  
Toronto K. Lowry 515
Washington J. Wall 856
Quickchart Matchup
Toronto Off vs  Washington Defense
103.7 Points For
97.8 Points Against
45.3 FG%
43.2 FG%
41.5 Reb
41.6 Reb
Washington Off vs  Toronto Defense
98.8 Points For
101.1 Points Against
46.2 FG%
45.9 FG%
41.6 Reb
42.7 Reb