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Milwaukee vs. Toronto: Bucks Lose Heartbreaker In 2OT

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Gotta lose one game to win in five, right?

NBA: Playoffs-Milwaukee Bucks at Toronto Raptors Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports

The Milwaukee Bucks were unable to overcome the Toronto Raptors in game three, losing 118-112 in double-overtime. A handful of things did not go Milwaukee’s way throughout the game and the fact that they forced two overtimes is quite remarkable.

Three Bucks

Giannis Antetokounmpo laid an egg.

Credit the Raptors defense as they continually double-teamed Antetokounmpo on the offensive end and forcing him to make difficult passes while contorting his body in midair. They were also very aggressive on him, knocking him to the deck numerous times. In what might have been one of the worst game of his season, he finished with 12 points (5-of-16 FG), 23 rebounds, seven assists, and four blocked shots. Giannis also committed an uncharacteristic eight turnovers. He just failed to get into any rhythm offensively, and eventually fouled out on a VERY QUESTIONABLE blocking foul in the second overtime. To add insult to injury, Giannis shot only 2-of-7 from the free throw line... and arguably should have had double the attempts. On the defensive end, he showed flashes of brilliance. I thought Milwaukee played better with him on the bench for certain stretches because it allowed their offense to move more freely. However, losing your MVP candidate in the middle of a heated game three is not ideal. It would not at all be surprising if he eviscerates the Raptors in game four.

George Hill can do absolutely no wrong.

Without his contributions off the bench, the Bucks would have been dead in the water early in this one. In 37 minutes off the bench, he scored 24 points on 7-of-9 shooting and he converted on 3-of-4 three-pointers. He hit countless big shots down the stretch and also provided the Bucks with fantastic defense. He played the perfect game when the Bucks needed him too, making it a little more frustrating that it was in a losing effort. However, he’s a guy who has played key minutes in previous NBA Finals and will continue to play an integral role in this rotation. He’s just been remarkable for Milwaukee this postseason.

Eric Bledsoe was Toronto’s MVP last night.

I mean, what an absolutely infuriating performance by Milwaukee’s starting point guard. He’s been awful this postseason, but yesterday was just incredibly frustrating to watch. He brought absolutely nothing to the table in 34 minutes. He shot 3-of-16 from the floor and 1-of-6 from downtown. He also finished with the same amount of turnovers (five) as assists. Offensively, he was all out of sorts. He was dribbling the air out of the ball and milking the shot clock all to hoist up awful looks from the field. His inexcusably poor performance was a big reason as to why Toronto ended up with a win. It was especially annoying to see head coach Mike Budenholzer start the second overtime with Bledsoe when he was CLEARLY outplayed by Malcolm Brogdon. Simply said, he needs to get his head out of the sand if the Bucks want to take care of the Raptors in five games.

More Malcolm Brogdon, please.

Although he missed a key free throw late in the second overtime, his performance in game three was incredibly clutch. He played 37 minutes off the bench and scored 20 points on 8-of-17 shooting from the field. Brogdon also knocked down 3-of-8 threes with a few of them going halfway down and out. His ability to take the ball to the rack was on full display as he was unfazed by the defense of Kawhi Leonard and drove passed him a few times for key buckets. The reverse he had on the baseline with Kawhi all over him was BEAUTIFUL. Not only was he rock solid offensively, but his defense might have also been even better. He was given the task of defending Kawhi for the majority of 2OT and did an admirable job holding his own. He made life difficult for the Klaw which is no easy feat. It would have been nice to see him start the final OT period, but oh well. He loves playing against the Raptors.

As for the Toronto Raptors, they were led by the gutsy performance of Kawhi Leonard who dropped 36 points in 52 minutes (!!). He was playing on one leg pretty much the entire game after coming up lame on a layup attempt early in the game. He also came up with a clutch steal on Brogdon to help seal the victory. He’ll be sore tomorrow. Pascal Siakam added 25 points and Norman Powell added 19 points off the bench for the Raptors. Even though he and Kyle Lowry fouled out, Milwaukee was unable to capitalize :(

Bonus Bucks

  • Not a great night for Khris Middleton and Nikola Mirotic. Middleton scored nine points on 16 shots and Mirotic scored 10 on 11 shots. When both these guys are bricking everything it’s not going to end up going well for Milwaukee and we saw that yesterday. Don’t panic, I expect they’ll bounce back in game four.
  • In 40 minutes, Brook Lopez scored 16 points on 5-of-10 shooting. He’s come alive in the Eastern Conference Finals, but his defense down the stretch was not pretty. He closed aggressively on a number of Marc Gasol pump fakes from deep which led to Gasol getting to the line or making the extra pass to a teammate.
  • Ersan Ilyasova was...bad. He scored two points and it certainly was a night to forget.
  • Pat Connaughton scored eight points in 12 minutes and was generally a positive when he was on the floor. With Milwaukee struggling offensively early in the game, he knocked down a few shots to help keep them afloat.
  • The Bucks shot 22-of-33 from the foul line...unacceptable. That’s the game right there.