Losing in OT to the Toronto Raptors earlier this year, the Milwaukee Bucks weren’t going to let that happen again as they won out 122-119 in their second OT game with the Raps. After one, Milwaukee hung tough through some early foul trouble to their backcourt and was behind just 29-23. The Buck burst past the Raptors in the second quarter, heading into halftime on an 11-1 run that gave Milwaukee a 65-57 advantage. Toronto made runs at Milwaukee’s lead several times in the third, but they always battled back and were able to head into the fourth up 96-88. The fourth quarter featured plenty of back-and-forth, but Khris Middleton missed a free throw late that opened the door for a Jonas Valanciunas buzzer-beating slam dunk to send it into OT tied at 110. Toronto scored the first five in OT, but Milwaukee rebounded with an 8-0 run and pulled this one out, 122-119.
Toronto was 24-4 at home coming into tonight’s game. They are the best team in the East and had won seven in a row. Historically, Milwaukee has had plenty of trouble heading north of the border to play. To win tonight, in a supercharged atmosphere, speaks volumes about the potential of this team when its big three play well with Jabari Parker in tow too. Giannis hitting the big shots down the stretch just makes it that much sweeter.
Giannis Antetokounmpo had a relatively quiet game heading into the fourth, but still picked up an impressive 26 points, 12 rebounds, six assists, two steals and a block to finish as Milwaukee’s leading scorer through a series of clutch shots down the stretch tonight. He looked like a guy hell bent on making amends for losing to Toronto in last year’s playoff series.
Khris Middleton battled foul trouble all evening, picking up two early fouls and several foolish ones as the game went on. He made the most of his court time though, tallying 21 points in 35 minutes. Eric Bledsoe was ruthlessly efficient all night, hitting 8-13 and looking quite in control of the offense when asked to run it, finishing with 21 points, eight rebounds and four assists. Jabari Parker went for eight points, Thon Maker added 12 and Jason Terry had a huge 14 in 26 minutes tonight.
DeMar DeRozan was every bit the knockdown shooter he’s billed as, hitting 13-26 for 33 points on the night. Kyle Lowry scored just 17 points and fouled out in OT, while Pascal Siakam gave them a lift off the bench with 17 points and seven rebounds.
Stat That Stood Out
21-12: Milwaukee had 21 turnovers tonight, leading to 21 points for the Raptors, while Toronto coughed it up just 12 times for 13 Milwaukee points. That’s not a huge discrepancy, but the Raptors had just 3 turnovers at halftime with zero points converted for Milwaukee. Their ability to poke the ball away in the second half and turn those into easy points helped stave off several Raptors runs in the third and fourth quarters.