Game 3 Update – Milwaukee Bucks rout Toronto Raptors to move to within two wins of NBA Finals
The Milwaukee Bucks beat the Toronto Raptors 125-103 in Game 2 on Friday night and took a 2-0 lead in the East Conference Finals.
The Milwaukee Bucks had an NBA best 60-22 record during the regular season are now just two wins from their first NBA Finals berth in 45 years.
The Bucks scored the first nine points in the game never trailed at any stage, with Giannis Antetokounmpo scoring 30 points and 17 rebounds, while Ersan Ilyasova came off the bench to add 17 points.
Kawhi Leonard scored 31 points for the Raptors, with Kyle Lowry adding 15 and Norman Powell a further 14.
Game 3 will take place on Sunday in Toronto and it is a game the Raptors desperately need to win to give themselves meaningful hope in the series.
Game 2 Update – Milwaukee Bucks rally to beat Toronto Raptors in Game 1 of Eastern Conference Final
The Milwaukee Bucks beat the Toronto Raptors 108-100 in Game 1 of the NBA Eastern Conference Final on Wednesday night.
Having not played for a full week, it took some time for the Bucks to find their flow in the game and they missed 29 of their first 35 attempts from 3-point range.
The Toronto Raptors raced to a 34-23 first-quarter lead and had control for much of the game, with them leading 83-76 lead after three quarters and seemingly poised to steal home-court advantage from the top-seeded Bucks. That was until the Bucks rallied with a strong comeback that saw them outscore the Raptors 32-17 in the final quarter.
Brook Lopez led the Bucks with 29 points, 11 rebounds, two assists and four blocks with 13 of his points coming in the fourth quarter.
Kyle Lowry scored 30 points for the Raptors, which included draining seven 3-pointers.
The teams will meet again in Milwaukee on Friday night in Game 2.
The Milwaukee Bucks meet the Toronto Raptors in the Eastern Conference Finals with the Bucks having the home-court advantage in the best-of-seven series.
The Bucks surrendered home-court advantage to the Boston Celtics in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference semi-finals, but then reeled off four straight wins to secure a convincing series win.
The Raptors had an altogether more dramatic semi-final against the Philadelphia 76ers, which was thrilling seven-game series that was ultimately decided by a buzzer-beating shot from the corner by Kawhi Leonard.
Milwaukee Bucks vs Toronto Raptors Betting Lines & Pick
This series will largely be billed as being about Giannis Antetokounmpo against Leonard. They rank No. 1 and No. 2 in postseason player efficiency ratings, and have certainly been the most consistent and dominant performers in this year’s NBA playoffs to date.
Antetokounmpo finished the series against the Celtics with averages of 28.4 points, 10.8 rebounds, 5.2 assists and 1.6 blocks per game. Against the 76ers, Leonard averaged 34.7 points, 9.9 rebounds and 4.0 assists per game, while shooting 54 percent from the field.
The Bucks will be tough to beat at the Fiserv Forum where they went 33-8 during the regular season, but in terms of experience at this level it’s the Raptors who hold a definite edge, with their roster having played a collective 116 games in the Conference Finals and beyond, and the Bucks have played in just 24 such games.
This Playoff series looks likely to be the closer of the two Conference Finals with regards to predictions, but the Bucks have home-court advantage and are less predictable in their approach than the teams the Raptors have faced in the postseason to date. The Bucks are therefore the tips to squeeze home 4-3 in this series.