Washington was led by veteran Paul Pierce, who scored 5 of his 20 points in overtime, while Nene added a double-double of 12 points and 13 rebounds. Pierce started the extra period with his fourth 3-pointer of the game to help take down the team he eliminated with the Brooklyn Nets in last year's playoffs. Bradley Beal scored 16 points, while John Wall and Kevin Seraphin each added 10 for the Wizards.
Amir Johnson led the Raptors with 18 points and DeMar DeRozan added a double-double of 15 points and 11 rebounds in the loss. Toronto has not won the opening game of the first round in their 7 postseason appearances. Their only game 1 win came in the second round of the 2001 playoffs against the Philadelphia 76ers.
Lou Williams, Greivis Vasquez, and Patrick Patterson each scored 10 points for Toronto, whose bench outscored their starters 48-38. Of those starters, DeRozan, Kyle Lowry, and Terrence Ross shot a combined 11-for-41 from the field and 0-for-11 from long range.
Pierce heard taunts from the Raptors' crowd the entire game, as his ongoing feud with Toronto general manager Masai Ujiri continues. Ujiri was fined $25,000 for using profanity about Brooklyn in a speech before last year's game 1. He would use yet another profanity in a pregame speech to the fans before Saturday's game, referencing Pierce's latest comments about the team.
The Raptors came back from a double-digit second half deficit after being held to only 14 points in the third quarter. Vasquez, who replaced Lowry after he fouled out, hit the game-tying 3 with 25 seconds left in regulation. Toronto would then miss 7 straight shots, helping the Wizards go on a game-sealing 7-0 run in overtime.
The Raptors will host game 2 against the Wizards on Tuesday night.