SportsBucks seeking 2-0 lead over Raptors in East finals
Bucks rally to take Game 1 from Raptors
Brook Lopez scored 13 of his career playoff-high 29 points in the fourth quarter and Milwaukee closed the game on a 10-0 run to beat the Toronto.
When the season started, everyone knew the Eastern Conference would have a new king.
LeBron James left Cleveland, having taken his talents to Los Angeles.
And even Milwaukee star Giannis Antetokounmpo wasn't sure who would take his place.
"I didn't know we were going to be in the Eastern Conference finals or not," Antetokounmpo said. "I just know that he's a top player that we always had problems against him and the Cavs. Now he's not playing for the Cavs, so it's going to be a little bit easier. I didn't see it as an opening. But when you look back and see how everything went, it's definitely an opening not having LeBron in the East."
Lowry scores 25 as Raptors even up series against Bucks with 120-102 win
TORONTO — Kyle Lowry had 25 points, a limping Kawhi Leonard had 19, and the Toronto Raptors beat the Milwaukee Bucks 120-102 on Tuesday, tying the Eastern Conference finals series at two wins apiece. In one of the best all-around victories of this post-season, six Raptors scored in double figures. Norman Powell had 18 points, Serge Ibaka had 17 points and 13 boards, Marc Gasol scored 17 points, and Fred VanVleet chipped in with 13. Game 5 is
The Bucks are three wins away from taking full advantage of that opening, and becoming the team that replaces James after his eight consecutive seasons going to the NBA Finals as a representative of the Eastern Conference. Game 2 of the East final is Friday night in Milwaukee, where the Bucks will aim to take a 2-0 series lead over the Toronto Raptors.
"We're happy," Antetokounmpo said. "But the job is not done. We've got to protect our home. We've got to be able to get Game 2."
Toronto got swept out of the 2017 and 2018 playoffs by James and the Cavs. Now they're already facing a 1-0 deficit against Antetokounmpo and the Bucks, after dropping Game 1 despite leading for 37 of the game's 48 minutes.
Drake responds on Instagram to comments by Bucks coach
Drake took to Instagram to seemingly respond to comments made by Milwaukee Bucks head coach Mike Budenholzer after Game 4 of the NBA’s Eastern Conference Finals. During Tuesday’s game in Toronto, the rapper and Toronto Raptors fan moved to the sideline from his courtside seat and gave Nick Nurse a shoulder massage. His physical contact with the Raptors coach looked odd on television and was a topic of discussion following the game. Budenholzer was among those who felt Drake was out of line. Budenholzer took a bit of a shot at Drake calling him a “fan or whatever he is for the Raptors.
"Sometimes, we just missed some shots," Raptors guard Kyle Lowry shrugged.
The way the Raptors see it, the adjustment to make finals might not be an adjustment at all. They liked most everything but the outcome of Game 1 — a 108-100 Bucks win — and figure that if they play the same Friday, they'll have another chance at stealing away home-court advantage.
"This team has handled downs pretty well and ups pretty well, and that's been one of our focuses since day one of training camp," Raptors coach Nick Nurse said. "So let's hope we can keep that going a little bit."
The Bucks won a game where they shot just under 40 per cent and were 11 of 44 from 3-point range. They made up for that on the defensive end and on the backboards — they held every Raptor not named Lowry or Kawhi Leonard to 1 for 23 shooting after halftime, and outrebounded Toronto 60-46.
Still, Toronto insists it is not worried about the offence.
NBA playoffs 2019: 3 takeaways from the Raptors' historic win over the Bucks
Toronto's 100-94 Game 6 win over the Bucks on Saturday secured its move to the biggest stage in basketball. Here are three takeaways from the Raptors' historic win The "others" made all the difference Toronto's bench outscored Milwaukee's in three consecutive games during its four-game winning streak in the Eastern Conference finals. The Raptors got valuable contributions from a variety of role players throughout the series. Among them were Fred VanVleet, Norman Powell and Serge Ibaka. The Bucks didn't have the luxury of a new face showing up each night, and it led to their downfall.
"Everything starts on the defensive end," Raptors forward Serge Ibaka said.
Here's some other things to know going into Game 2:
The last time Toronto had two 30-point scorers in the same game and lost — before it happened Wednesday — was Feb. 2, 2012. Game 1 was only the third time this season that the Bucks allowed two opponents to score 30 in the same game; Brandon Ingram and LeBron James did it for the Los Angeles Lakers in a Milwaukee win on March 1, and Leonard and Pascal Siakam did it in a Toronto victory on Jan. 5.
Before Wednesday, Milwaukee had been 0-7 this season when not shooting better than 40 per cent. The Bucks shot 39.8 per cent in Game 1. The Raptors had been 9-1 this season when holding teams to such a low shooting percentage; the only other previous blip came in Game 2 of the second round against Philadelphia, when the 76ers shot 39.5 per cent and won in Toronto.
Much gets made of Milwaukee's bench mob, and rightly so, but having Malcolm Brogdon back after he was out for basically all of the first two playoff rounds with a heel injury is a huge plus for the Bucks. Brogdon played 27 minutes in Game 1; he scored 15 points and the Bucks outscored the Raptors 57-39 in those minutes. When Brogdon wasn't on the floor, Toronto held a 61-51 edge.
Ticket prices for Raptors finals hit $60K — and fans aren't amused
Canadian basketball fans wanting to attend the Toronto Raptors' first NBA finals game will have to fork out big bucks for a seat inside Scotiabank Arena on Thursday.
Friday isn't technically a must-win for the Raptors, but a loss might conjure up some unfriendly memories for the franchise. Toronto has dropped the first two games of a playoff series seven times; the Raptors are 0-7 in those series, and four of them ended in sweeps — one of them a 3-0 decision, the others by 4-0 counts.
Milwaukee is off to a 9-1 start in these playoffs. It's the 24th time in NBA history that a team has opened a post-season with at least nine wins in 10 games; of the previous 23 to start at least 9-1, 15 went on to win the NBA championship. Only six teams have started 10-0.
Tim Reynolds, The Associated Press
Toronto Raptors fans less than thrilled after Pierce picks team to win title.
Toronto Raptors fans less than thrilled after Pierce picks team to win title
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