Game 6 Update – Toronto Raptors rally to beat Milwaukee Bucks and move to within a win of NBA Finals
The Toronto Raptors beat the Milwaukee Bucks 105-99 to gain home-court advantage take a 3-2 lead in the Eastern Conference finals on Thursday night.
As a result, Toronto moved to within a win of setting up an NBA Finals matchup with two-time defending champion Golden State Warriors.
The Raptors were as much as 14-points adrift early on, but they claimed a third straight win in the series (for what was the top-seeded Bucks first three-game losing streak of the season) thanks in no small part to 15 points from Leonard in the fourth quarter.
Kawhi Leonard scored 35 points, a career-high nine assists, made five 3-pointers and grabbed seven rebounds for the Raptors. Fred Van Vleet scored 21 points, hitting seven 3s, and Kyle Lowry added 17.
Giannis Antetokounmpo had 24 points for Milwaukee, with Eric Bledsoe scoring 20 and Malcolm Brogdon adding 18 points and 11 rebounds.
Game 6 will take place in Toronto on Saturday night.
Game 5 Update – Toronto Raptors level Eastern Conference Finals series at 2-2 with home-court win over Milwaukee Bucks
The Toronto Raptors beat the Milwaukee Bucks 120-102 on Tuesday night to even the Eastern Conference finals at two games apiece.
The home team has won all four games in the series so far, so Toronto still need to win in Milwaukee at some stage if they are to progress to an NBA Finals showdown with the Golden State Warriors.
Kyle Lowry scored 25 points, a clearly fatigued Kawhi Leonard had 19, Norm Powell scored 18 points, Marc Gasol had 17 points and a team-high seven assists and Serge Ibaka had 17 points and 13 rebounds for the Raptors.
Khris Middleton scored 30 points and Giannis Antetokounmpo added 25, but no one else had more than 11 points for the Bucks.
Game 5 will take place on Thursday night in Milwaukee.
Game 4 Update – Toronto Raptors beat Milwaukee Bucks in 2 OT’s to rekindle NBA Finals hopes
The Toronto Raptors beat the Milwaukee Bucks 118-112 in 2 OTs on Sunday night to put themselves right back in contention by cutting the Bucks’ lead in the Eastern Conference Finals to 2-1.
Kawhi Leonard scored 36 points for the Toronto Raptors, including eight in the second overtime. Leonard had nine rebounds and five assists. Pascal Siakam had 25 points and 11 rebounds, while Norman Powell scored 19 points.
George Hill scored 24 points for the Bucks and Malcolm Brogdon had 20. Giannis Antetokounmpo scored just 12 points and 23 rebounds before fouling out with 4:24 to go in the second overtime.
The Bucks scored the first basket of the game, but the Raptors never trailed again in regulation time. Milwaukee didn’t lead again until Hill’s basket to begin the second overtime put them up 105-103.
Game 4 will be on Tuesday night in Toronto.
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.