The Toronto Raptors avoided going down 2-0 with a 106-100 win over the Milwaukee Bucks Tuesday night, evening the series at one game apiece.
The Raptors were in control most of the game and even led by 13 points on two occasions during the second half. Toronto played with a lot more energy than they had back in game one, getting the majority of the 50/50 balls that led to second and third chance points. The Bucks never went away, however, chipping away and eventually tied the game at 100 after the Greek Freak knocked down his only three-ball of the night as the shot clock expired.
Toronto had to rely on their starting five (80 of 106 points scored) to push them to victory. Kyle Lowry dropped 22 points, four rebounds, five assists and three steals after scoring only four points in game one. DeMar DeRozan recorded a team-high 23 points, seven rebounds and three assists over 37 minutes. These two were under the spotlight all night long, but the all-around contribution of Serge Ibaka (16 points, seven rebounds, six assists). He ended up being a team-high plus-13, and took a lot of pressure off Lowry and DeRozan, hitting four of seven triples.
Giannis Antetokounmpo finished with 24 points (9-24 FG, 1-3 3Pt, 5-7 FT), 15 rebounds, seven assists, and two steals in a team-high 42 minutes of action, but shot just 38% from the field. Khris Middleton added 20 points (6-14 FG, 3-3 3Pt, 5-5 FT) and five rebounds over 41 minutes of action. These two received the heaviest workload and will be a huge chunk of the Bucks success down the road.
Malcolm Brogdon was rather quiet in his 37 minutes of floor time, recording just seven points (3-11 FG, 1-3 3Pt), four rebounds, and three assists. Brogdon was a key factor in Milwaukee’s game one victory, but couldn’t get his shot to fall from any location on the floor. Greg Monroe scored an efficient 18 points in 21 minutes off the bench. The moose continues to provide a much-needed boost in his sixth man role, but this boost was not quite enough to give the Bucks a 2-0 series lead.
The series heads to Milwaukee for games three and four, and the Raptors hope to keep up their game two-grit going as we continue the series.
Series Schedule and Results
Game 1 (4/15): Milwaukee 97, Toronto 83
Game 2 (4/18): Toronto 106, Milwaukee 100
Game 3 (4/20): Toronto @ Milwaukee, 7 PM CT, NBA TV
Game 4 (4/22): Toronto @ Milwaukee, 2 PM CT, TNT
Game 5 (4/24): Milwaukee @ Toronto, 6 PM CT, NBA TV
Game 6 (4/27, if nec.): Toronto @ Milwaukee, TBA, TBA
Game 7 (4/29, if nec.): Milwaukee @ Toronto, TBA, TNT