Holly MacKenzie – Raptors.com
IT WAS OVER WHEN
The Raptors pulled their starters with 1:42 remaining and the Bucks ahead by 18 points. After holding a five-point lead at the half, Toronto scored just 32 points in the second half as Milwaukee picked up a 97-83 road win to take a 1-0 series lead.
FEELING IT OUT FIRST
Toronto took its time feeling things out in the first quarter of the series. The defence especially took time to arrive, as the Raptors allowed the Bucks to shot 52 percent in the opening quarter. Milwaukee was led by Giannis Antetokounmpo’s seven points, and six points apiece from Tony Snell and Greg Monroe. Serge Ibaka led Toronto in his first playoff game in a Raptors uniform, scoring 10 points while DeMar DeRozan added eight. With Ibaka and DeRozan combining for 18 points, Toronto managed just 22 in the opening quarter, trailing Milwaukee 30-22 after the first 12 minutes.
MAKING A PUSH
The second quarter couldn’t have been more different than the first, as Toronto’s offence started clicking and the defence woke up. After allowing the Bucks to shoot 52 percent in the first quarter, Toronto held Milwaukee to just 33 percent shooting in the second, while also making 56 percent of its own field goals. The Raptors shot 10-for-18 in the quarter while the Bucks made 7-of-21 field goals. Toronto made all seven free throw attempts in the quarter, while Milwaukee was just 1-of-2 from the line. It was another big quarter for DeRozan who led Toronto with 10 points, while Antetokounmpo led the Bucks with eight points. After outscoring Milwaukee 29-16 in the quarter, the Raptors took a 51-46 halftime lead. DeRozan led all scorers with 18 points, while Antetokounmpo led the Bucks with 15 points.
COOLING DOWN IN THE THIRD
After a strong offensive showing in the second quarter, the Raptors offence cooled after halftime as Toronto managed just 19 points in the third, shooting an ugly 3-for-18 from the floor. The Bucks fared much better, bouncing back from a 33 percent second quarter to shoot 48 percent, making 10-of-21 field goals. The third was a back-and-forth battle with five ties and three lead changes and Toronto had an opportunity to take control after Antetokounmpo picked up his fourth foul and went the bench with 4:33 remaining in the quarter. Instead of capitalizing with Antetokounmpo on the bench, the Raptors allowed the Bucks to close the quarter on an 11-4 run to take a five-point lead into the fourth quarter.
FADING IN THE FOURTH
Things went from bad to worse in the fourth as Toronto’s offence went ice cold. After opening the quarter with a 75-70 lead, Milwaukee outscored Toronto 16-6 in the first 8:27 of the fourth to take a 91-76 lead with 3:33 remaining. The Raptors scored just 13 points in the fourth, and 32 in the entire second half. After shooting 50 percent in the first half, Toronto shot just 20 percent in the second. As the Raptors were fading, the Bucks kept pushing, and their relentlessness paid off.
RAPTORS PLAYER OF THE GAME
Serge Ibaka had a big night on both ends of the floor in the loss. He scored 19 points on 8-for-14 field goals to go with a team-high 14 rebounds in 36 minutes. Ibaka was 1-for-4 from beyond the arc and 2-for-4 form the free throw line while also adding three blocked shots. While Ibaka scored 19 points, DeMar DeRozan led the team offensively with 27 points in 39 minutes. DeRozan also had eight rebounds and an assist. DeRozan’s 27 points were the most scored by the Raptors player in a postseason opener.
UNDERRATED RAPTORS PLAYER(S) OF THE GAME
Jonas Valanciunas narrowly missed out on a double-double, scoring nine points to go with nine rebounds in 24 minutes. He shot 2-for-5 from the floor and 5-for-7 from the free throw line.
THAT’S A RAP…
“They did everything we expected and they did it well. We missed shots and we gave them bunch of fast break points. We already knew that’s what they thrive at. We didn’t get back on defence and that turned into them getting a win.” – P.J. Tucker on the Bucks
BY THE #’S
36…Percent shooting for Toronto in the game compared to 45 percent for Milwaukee. The Bucks also shot 39 percent from beyond the arc (9-for-23), compared to the Raptors making just 22 percent of their attempts from deep (5-for-23).
17…Fast break points for the Bucks, four for the Raptors.
11…Turnovers for Toronto leading to 19 points scored by the Bucks. Milwaukee did a phenomenal job taking care of the ball as they committed just five turnovers, leading to seven points scored by the Raptors. The five turnovers were a season-low for the Bucks.
32…Second half points scored by Toronto. After outscoring Milwaukee 29-16 in the second quarter to take a five-point halftime lead, Toronto’s offence went cold in the second half as they managed just 19 points in the third quarter and 13 in the fourth.
50…Percent shooting for Toronto in the first half. 20 percent shooting for Toronto in the second half.
28…Points, eight rebounds, three assists, two steals and a blocked shot for Giannis Antetokounmpo. The 28 points were a career-high as he connected on 13-of-18 field goals.
THEY SAID IT…
“The second half was abysmal. We didn’t play with any pace, any rhythm, any movement. We have to give them credit, they did a good job defensively. We have to figure out how to get a better rhythm, a better pace, spacing. Once the ball gets in the half-court we have to get better movement, exchanges, don’t stand there and help their defence, all of the above. All of that led to tough shots, challenged shots, and we were totally out of rhythm in the second half. With that said, we were up seven at some point. You keep playing that way and it’s going to bite you in the behind and that’s what happened with us tonight.” – Dwane Casey on the Game 1 offensive performance
“I have no clue; if I had an answer we would have pulled it out tonight. It’s not something we’re unfamiliar with being at this point. It’s never ideal, but we have to bounce back and understand we make it hard on ourselves and come back and fight back even harder. It’s on us. We don’t have any excuses. They have one and it’s on us to take advantage of the next game at home.” – DeMar DeRozan on the history of dropping the opening game of the series
“It’s the first to four [wins]. That’s what it is and we just have to go out there and take care of Game 2. Focus on the task at hand, look at this film, see what they did, see what we did and fix it and try to be a better team.” – Kyle Lowry on being in a familiar situation after dropping Game 1 in the series.
“There is no excuse. I don’t know if we played hard enough to deserve to win. I thought they outplayed us. They played hard longer than we did. No matter what you do offensively, if your rhythm is off, whatever, you can still run back on defence, make them feel you defensively and we didn’t do that. I thought they played with more force for longer than we did.” – Dwane Casey when asked if only having four games with Kyle Lowry back in the lineup before playoffs was an issue
“Doesn’t matter. One day, two days, next day, just be prepared. We didn’t go out and execute our plan. Hopefully next game we will.” – P.J. Tucker when asked if it’s good or bad to have two days before Game 2 on Tuesday
The Raptors will host the Bucks for Game 2 of the series on Tuesday at the Air Canada Centre at 7 P.M. ET.