Giannis Antetokounmpo had 30 points and 17 rebounds to lead Milwaukee 125-103 around the Toronto Raptors on Friday, putting the Bucks up 2- in the best-of-7 Eastern Meeting last.
Now the Raptors are faced with a mammoth undertaking: digging by themselves out of a -2 series deficit. It can be anything Toronto has under no circumstances finished prior to.
Kawhi Leonard experienced 31 points and 8 rebounds to lead the Raptors, who have been finished in by one particular of their worst 1st halves of the year. They trailed by 18 points in the very first quarter. It grew to 25 details by the 2nd.
Kyle Lowry had 15 points, whilst Norm Powell experienced his greatest video game of these playoffs with 14 details.
Pascal Siakam, who averaged 24 details against Milwaukee in the typical period, had just eight points and a single rebound and fouled out with 5:17 to play. Marc Gasol struggled mightily, finishing with two points on 1-for-9 capturing and wanting out of types all night. Serge Ibaka had 10 rebounds to go with eight details.
Now the sequence heads to Toronto for Game 3 on Sunday.
Two evenings right after a near Game 1 reduction that left the Raptors lamenting an possibility missed, Video game 2 acquired unpleasant early. Antetokounmpo threw down a dunk in the opening moment, then mauled Gasol on a dunk attempt from at the rear of on the Raptors’ following possession, prompting “M-V-P!” chants from the Fiserv Discussion board group. The major block appeared to shake Gasol, who missed his first four photographs, and smacked his palms in disappointment when he fumbled a go.
A George Hill basket capped a 12- run gave the Bucks an 18-point guide, and they roared into the second up 35-21.
The Raptors’ struggling ongoing. When Lowry skipped on a free of charge throw, a substantial area of followers chanted “Playoff Lowry!” And when Lowry fouled Ilyasova with 1:02 to perform, the Raptors point guard took a seat with a troublesome fourth foul, and Ilyasova’s totally free toss gave the Bucks a 23-issue lead. Milwaukee took a 64-39 advantage into the halftime split.
Antetokounmpo converted a a few-issue engage in to start off the 3rd, stretching the Bucks’ guide to a recreation-high 28 factors. But the Raptors outscored the Bucks the rest of the quarter, slicing the change to 13 factors a pair of times. Rarely-made use of Jodie Meeks scored on a 3-pointer at the buzzer and the Raptors trailed Milwaukee with 95-78.
The same rowdy portion of admirers serenaded Leonard all through fourth-quarter free throws with “Potential Clipper!” in reference to rumours that the Raptors star is headed home to L.A. to engage in next time.
Leonard’s 3-level enjoy pulled Toronto within 15 points with 6:10 to play, but Antetokounmpo was fouled by Leonard the following time down the ground for his have 3-place perform. Hill’s 3-pointer with 4:06 to enjoy all but sealed the Bucks’ victory, and both coaches went deep into their benches quickly immediately after.
Raptors mentor Nick Nurse was asked pre-video game what is actually much easier: preparing for a recreation immediately after a win or just after a loss?
“The losses should give you an edge and it really should give you a determination point, too,” Nurse mentioned. “But in the playoffs, it doesn’t bode extremely nicely if you drop two in a row. So it puts a little bit a lot more warmth on you to get the earn accomplished on the 2nd game.”
That warmth has been cranked up a couple hundred degrees. Of the 7 other situations the Raptors have dropped the initial two games of a playoff series, they have gone on to drop all seven sequence. 4 of the collection ended up sweeps.
The start off of the recreation was a virtual reversal of two evenings before, when the Raptors experienced the Bucks — rusty potentially from their six days off among games — on their heels from tipoff. The Raptors led for 37 of the 48 minutes in a 108-100 decline, falling aside in a 2nd 50 percent that noticed each and every Raptor not named Lowry or Leonard shoot 1-for-23.
There was zero rust on Friday.
The Bucks outrebounded Toronto 53-40, two evenings soon after beating the Raptors 60-46 on the boards. The Bucks turned the ball about just 7 times, as opposed to 14 for the Raptors, costing them 19 points.
The Bucks received a league-higher 60 video games in the typical time, two a lot more than the next-seeded Raptors. The winner of this collection will have homecourt in the NBA Finals in opposition to possibly the Golden Point out Warriors or the Portland Trail Blazers.
The Raptors are participating in their second Jap Conference remaining in franchise heritage, while the Bucks are earning their to start with appearance in the convention ultimate in 18 several years.
The Bucks have had a countdown going considering that the playoffs began: how several victories right before they hoist the Larry O’Brien trophy as the NBA winner? Friday designed it 6 a lot more wins.
Video game 4 is Tuesday at Scotiabank Arena.