Lowry comes back to life as Raptors take Game 2

Toronto Raptors guard Kyle Lowry (7) looks to pass under pressure from Milwaukee Bucks guard Malcolm Brogdon (13) during the first half of Game 2 of an NBA basketball first-round playoff series, Tuesday, Apri.

DeMar DeRozan's playoff career effective field goal percentage is 40.2, which is third-worst among players who have attempted at least 500 shots in the playoffs since the adoption of the three-point line.

Ibaka would finish the night with 16 points, six assists and seven rebounds, while Valanciunas, almost a forgotten man in Game 1, would get in just under the wire with a double-double of 10 rebounds and 10 points. The Raptors have lost the opening game in eight consecutive playoff series.

ABOUT THE RAPTORS: All-Star point guard Kyle Lowry missed all six 3-point attempts and tallied just four points in the opener as he continues to be a dismal performer in the postseason.

Giannis Antetokounmpo: 24 points, 15 rebounds, seven assists and two steals.

Game 2 is Tuesday night in Toronto. While other coaches are trying their best to stop three point attempts, Casey has prioritized clogging the lane and daring the Bucks to make them pay. For Serge Ibaka's lockdown defending throughout and game-saving second-half offensive bounce-back. They are 1-11 in Game 1 overall.

Game 3 is Thursday at the BMO Harris Bradley Center. Toronto took a 55-52 lead into halftime.

A three-pointer by Antetokounmpo tied the game at 100-100 with under two minutes remaining, setting the stage for a rip-roaring finale.

"We knew they were going to come out hungrier and we needed to be hungrier ... but we just didn't do it", said Brogdon, who defended the hell out of Lowry on the jump shot that clinched the win. They could've let up, content with stealing home court advantage, but they battled until the very end. The Official Twitter Videos of Bucks and Raptors are embedded here below. "He's human. Everybody has a night like that", said Casey after the game.

"I just played. I went out there and took my shots, be aggressive like my teammates challenged me to be and I got to the free throw line nine times", he said.

His disappointing performance brought back memories of the series-opening struggles Lowry faced past year, including 3 for 13 efforts against both IN in the first round and Miami IN the second, and a 4 for 14 effort against Cleveland IN Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals. They even met him 27 feet from the basket to not allow him to get a head of steam and clogged the paint anytime he got in the lane. I think I tried to (go on a similar rant) a year ago but I didn't do as good a job as he did last night.

Lowry is being urged to be more aggressive. "We gotta turn around and do the same thing with them".

"I think [his ankle] got warmer, looser and he got his adrenaline going and was able to play on it", Casey said of his power forward's second half. It was just their third win in 21 games against the Clippers.

"I can't spell his last name off the hook but Giannis", said fan John Kocher. For me, I just wanted to get to my spot.

For the majority of the game, Toronto did that.

Lowry went from a 2-11 shooting night, to 6-12 and knocked down 2-5 3 pointers. Chicago's second unit had its biggest impact at the start of the second quarter, outscoring Boston 10-0 to put Chicago in front. Then the Bucks went on a 15-4 run.

Within that, the four-man combo of Lowry, Tucker, Patterson, and Ibaka had a net rating of 23.5 in 16.7 minutes together, while the frontcourt trio of Tucker, Patterson, and Ibaka posted a 16.0 in 20.1.

Somebody asked Greg Monroe, the Bucks centre who had another superb game with 18 points in 22 minutes, whether or not a player such as Brogdon and even Antetokounmpo, who really hasn't been around all that long, could learn from these two games.

  • Julie Sanders