DeMar DeRozan scores team-high 32 points to help Raptors advance

Whether or not Ibaka finds his shot on the road, the third-seeded Raptors could put up a lot of points against a second-seeded Cavaliers team that was tested in their first-round series with in, but managed to find a way to win.

Grizzlies guard Mike Conley led his team with 26 points and five assists.

Facing the possibility of incurring a monumental 3-1 deficit by losing Game 4 in Milwaukee, the Raptors knew their season was on the brink when they stepped on the court in Milwaukee for Game 4 last Saturday. A Bucks win would force a Game 7 in Toronto Saturday.

April 27, 2017; Milwaukee, WI, USA; Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo (34) shoots over Toronto Raptors forward Serge Ibaka (9) during the third quarter in game six of the first round of the 2017 NBA Playoffs at BMO Harris Bradley Center. We got to the stripe, we just couldn't capitalize on it. Corey Joseph broke an 82-82 tie with a triple that pushed Toronto back on top by 3.

The Raptors blew a 25-point lead but recovered for the win. But DeRozan did. The Raptors found out who could fight when things were going well, and when they weren't.

Fans in attendance at Thursday night's National Basketball Association playoff game between the Milwaukee Bucks and Toronto Raptors likely won't soon forget Milwaukee's furious fourth quarter rally to take the lead after being down 25 points.

Tucker will see a lot of James coming off the bench behind DeMarre Carroll while Ibaka gives them the kind of defender they didn't have a year ago to go at Kevin Love.

The team ended its opening-round series against the Bucks with a roller-coaster 92-89 victory in Milwaukee on Thursday night.

"It's just time and score, being in that position", Bucks coach Jason Kidd said afterwards. "We don't need to overanalyze it".

"We just kept fighting, kept scratching and kept competing".

The Raptors trailed early as Antetokounmpo scored the first eight points for the Bucks and Milwaukee had a quick six-point lead.

The Raptors took the Cavaliers to six games in the team's first-ever conference final appearance last season. Game 3 is at 7 p.m. Friday in Toronto, where the teams will play Game 4 at 3:30 p.m. Dates and times for games 5, 6, and 7 will be announced at a later date.

The Toronto Raptors got the three-day break they were hoping for. Milwaukee shot 50 percent from the line in the fourth quarter, going 9-of-18. The Raptors played suffocating defense, harnessing everything the Bucks wanted to do and forced them into chucking ugly attempts.

Patty Mills' San Antonio Spurs have eliminated the Memphis Grizzlies from the NBA Playoffs with a come-from-behind win. The Bucks have every reason to believe that their young All-Star may become the face of an exciting new era. Even Antetokounmpo, a renowned gym rat, looked exhausted, catching his breath during fourth-quarter breaks. The Greek Freak played all but two minutes of the game to get to 34 and while they didn't get a series this year, it's not a stretch to imagine them getting through at least one or two a year from now. "I think we had maybe a day to prepare for Cleveland and the next thing you know we are in the Cleveland hotel".

"I was extremely exhausted, but I was just motivated by my teammates and the fans, the crowd", Antetokounmpo said. I was able to hit someone in the corner - Cory or Kyle - and they threw it back to me and I just went to the basket.

Then the Raptors lost focus. Dwane Casey saw his team floundering after Game 3's loss and made an adjustment to his lineup. "I don't like the end results - it could have been way better - but you live with the results and you learn".

Tony Parker also impressed with 27 points while LaMarcus Aldridge added a double-double of 17 points and 12 rebounds as the Spurs booked a semi-final showdown with Texas rivals Houston.

Game 1 of Raptors-Cavaliers is Monday in Cleveland, and while finishing the series in six games gives the Raptors a few days off, the Cavs and LeBron James will have had seven full days off by the tip-off of the series opener.

"Winning in Cleveland is hard".

  • Julie Sanders