Raptors survive the choke-apocalypse and finish off Bucks

In a fourth quarter that saw Toronto score just five field goals, Patterson and Joseph responded with two of them - Patterson scored on a cutting dunk, then Joseph drilled a three, and Toronto was back up by three.

The Bucks eventually took an 80-78 lead when Jason Terry connected on a late three-pointer in the third quarter.

Gregg Popovich and the Spurs value rest as much as any organization, and there won't be much if they lose Thursday and are forced to play a Game 7 back home on Saturday night.

The Raptors are the only team in the East other than the Cleveland Cavaliers with multiple All-Stars on their roster.

If there has been one consistent theme about Toronto in the playoffs, it is inconsistency. "There was enough time left on the clock".

Giannis has posted great numbers through the first five games of their series with the Toronto Raptors. They kept the ball moving, they rebounded the ball well, and they utilized the pick and roll.

The Raptors flipped a switch following their brutal loss in Game 3 and have looked like the team most bettors expected heading into the postseason.

But Toronto didn't collapse. For anyone who follows the Raptors closely, this was not particularly surprising. Coach Jason Kidd hasn't won a playoff series since he worked for the Brooklyn Nets, and the franchise itself has lost the last seven series' it's played in the postseason, dating all the way back to 2001.

It wasn't easy, not at all, but DeRozan came through. The Greek Freak gave this year's Bucks the identity of a youthful, athletic team just a year or two away from making the leap to excellence.

DeMar DeRozan tallied his second 30-point game of the series, and 10th career 30-point playoff game, as he scored a game-high 32 points (12-24 FG). Henson has only played three minutes against Toronto.

"We stayed calm", DeRozan told reporters afterward. Milwaukee did not help themselves from the free throw line as they finished 9-of-18 in the fourth quarter alone.

But Toronto rallied again at just the right time to claim a victory that sends them through to a clash with reigning champions Cleveland. He and the Raptors' ability to handle that more often than not is the biggest reason they persevered in the end.

The Milwaukee Bucks finished sixth in the Eastern Conference with a 42-40 record.

MILWAUKEE-Maybe you were howling it at your television screens when the 25-point lead was down to 13; maybe you were screaming it when the lead was eight, then three, then gone.

This defeat will surely be framed as a sign that the young Bucks just weren't quite ready for primetime. Toronto took a physical, tiring first-round series in six games.

For the Raptors, DeMar DeRozan, 27, has been getting the job done all season long. This is no small thing, and it indicate that Kidd and the front office's formula - building a team around length, athleticism and the unique talents of Antetokounmpo - is sound. They can close out the Bucks in Milwaukee with a win tonight (Thursday) and move on to meet the No. 2-seeded Cavs, who swept the No. 7-seeded Indiana Pacers 4-0 in their opening round series. For a lot of these guys, they've never seen this.

  • Zachary Reyes