Raptors minimize Antetokounmpo, win Game 2 vs
- Author: Julie Sanders Apr 22, 2017,
Apr 22, 2017, 19:26
The Toronto Raptors evened their opening-round series with the Milwaukee Bucks at one game apiece on Tuesday with a 106-100 victory at the Air Canada Centre.
Ibaka had just three points in the first half, but was solid in the second, prompting DeRozan to say "Without him, we wouldn't have got this win tonight".
"We can't relax, we can't feel like we accomplished anything. we have to keep trying to make it hard on him and hope that he misses some shots". "It's something now that we're not unfamiliar with, being at this point".
The revised plays opened up the lanes for Lowry and his teammates, resulting in 24 assists and a postseason franchise-record of 14 three pointers made on 29 attempts.
"It's big for us, but now we have to focus on Game 2", Antetokounmpo told reporters. "We know they're going to be more desperate".
The Bucks still need to win three games to pull off what could be one of the shocking upsets of the playoffs. The young Bucks chipped away at it by executing some of the same things that made them so terrifying in Game 1 - driving dunks from the Greek Freak, jumpers by Khris Middleton, sweet three-point shooting from Tony Snell.
You would think that would not apply to Jonas Valanciunas.
"But once you get going, your auto feels like a 2016 Lexus or something". It's more than a playoff series for the Toronto Raptors, where elimination means sitting out the next two months of the basketball calendar. But coach Dwane Casey said Ibaka "should be ready to go tomorrow night". "It's not a good feeling".
Lowry scored just four points in Saturday's Game 1 loss, missing all six of his 3-point attempts.
"Every time I (used) a screen, I had four arms around me", Lowry said "Put it this way: I guess I'm (going to) have to force shots".
Lowry said Saturday's poor night felt "like deja vu all over again". Patrick Patterson then hit two free throws for Toronto.
Had the Raptors not gotten so hot from deep, we might have been panicking over a 0-2 deficit today headed back to Milwaukee for Games 3 and 4. "He's one of those guys that's a competitor and being with him over these years, I've seen him, been in the trenches with him before, and he's always bounced back".
The problem is that the Jazz have so much more depth, which is why they were able to eek out a win in spite of losing defensive superstar Rudy Gobert in the first 11 seconds of the first game with a bruised knee.
If Milwaukee has shown anything in these first two games, though, it's that it isn't going down easily.
Rookie Jakob Poeltl got almost four minutes worth of burn in the early going due to Jonas Valanciunas' foul trouble in the first quarter, while head coach Dwane Casey looked to sophomore Delon Wright for roughly 8.5 minutes in the second frame as well.
"It wasn't like they jumped out to a big lead or anything like that, but in the minute where it was important, we didn't do a good job of getting back in transition", Casey said. It had 24 assists on 37 made field goals. Toronto shot 7 for 35 in the second half, following up a 3 for 18 showing in the third by going 4 for 17 in the fourth. The Raptors continued to let Valanciunas and Ibaka give Maker and Hawes plenty of space in order to clog the paint.
Many in the sellout crowd of 20,133 headed for the exits throughout the final quarter as the Bucks stretched their lead to a game-high 19 points. It's unclear at this point what is really happening, as the Raptors are nearly certainly a better team over the long haul. Toronto finished 5 for 23 from long range, with the starting five going 1 for 13. They couldn't shake the pesky Bucks though and Spencer Hawes scored on a tip-in at the buzzer - an ugly possession that saw Milwaukee grab four offensive rebounds - and the Raptors' lead was down to 55-52 at halftime.
The Raptors had history on their side, winning Game 2s against Brooklyn in 2014, and then in and Miami last season.