Lowry, DeRozan and Casey respond, Raptors beat Bucks 106-100
- Author: Julie Sanders Apr 25, 2017,
Apr 25, 2017, 7:15
Lowry enjoyed a handful of great games during last year's playoffs - perhaps none as big as his 35-point night in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Finals against the Cavaliers - but his slow start in the first two rounds forced Toronto to go seven games deep with both in and Miami.
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".
Behind another solid Giannis Antetokounmpo night - 24 points and 15 rebounds - Milwaukee refused to buckle when the Raptors extended leads to double-digits on a handful of occasions.
Kyle Lowry and the Raptors will take on Greg Monroe and the Bucks Tuesday.
Milwaukee's success in Game 1 was based on their ability to manufacture points despite a slow pace (87.5) and the Raptors' protection of the ball (only 10 turnovers committed by Toronto).
DeMarre Carroll scored 12 points as all five Raptors starters reached double figures.
Two games in the series and no quarter was as tough and free-flowing as the third quarter, a Raptors run matched by a Bucks run, shot-making and defence being played. Heading to Milwaukee down 0-2 would have been a death knell for the Raptors' season, and they played like a team who knew it.
Casey reacted to Game 1's let down with a combination of loyalty to who got him here and adjusting to who gave him the best shot at winning. Lowry came out in front of the Toronto faithful on Tuesday night as if his Game 1 stink bomb never happened.
Lowry finished with 22 points and 5 assists.
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Three different guys started at the center, before a fourth guy was chosen for the job and the Bucks went back and forth between Brogdon and Dellavedova at the point.
Millsap grabbed an offensive rebound and managed to get the shot off while falling on his backside.
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.
Meanwhile, the Milwaukee Bucks will be feeling like they missed out on a big chance to take a commanding 2-0 series lead as they were right in the contest from start to finish. Ibaka is not a player who sits out a game, particularly a playoff game with anything less than a serious injury and his sprained ankle was not serious enough to keep him out.
The Raptors had history on their side, winning Game 2s against Brooklyn in 2014, and then in and Miami last season.
And they all got one.
Tucker missed two free throws with 56.3 seconds left, failing to extend a two-point Toronto lead and giving the Bucks another life. Led by Serge Ibaka, Toronto increased its lead to 95-83 but again Milwaukee clawed its way back. Jonas Valanciunas added 10 points and 10 boards, and Cory Joseph chipped in with 11 points. They made just five of their 23 attempts from deep. "I'm pretty sure they're excited to have us back home for the playoffs". They passed better and defended better.
For the majority of the game, Toronto did that. The improved ball movement didn't last and despite the better paint protection, Antetokounmpo still found ways to contribute offensively, racking up 24 points, seven assists and six offensive rebounds.