Holly MacKenzie – Raptors.com
IT WAS OVER WHEN
Kyle Lowry drilled a step-back jumper to put the Raptors ahead by four with 8.9 seconds remaining. Thanks to a 22-point effort from Lowry, 23 points from DeMar DeRozan and a huge second-half effort from Serge Ibaka, the Raptors held off the Milwaukee Bucks to earn a 106-100 Game 2 victory. With the series now tied at one game apiece, things will shift to Milwaukee for Game 3 on Thursday.
After allowing the Bucks to shoot 52 percent in the opening quarter of Game 1, Toronto held Milwaukee to just 36 percent shooting in the first quarter in Game 2. The Bucks were 8-for-22 in the quarter, as Giannis Antetokounmpo got off to a 1-for-6 start and Khris Middleton led Milwaukee in scoring with nine points. The Raptors shot 47 percent in the quarter and were led by DeMar DeRozan’s 12 points on 4-for-5 shooting, including a late bucket to give the Raptors a three-point lead, 28-25 at the end of the first quarter.
The Raptors had a more difficult time in the second quarter after their hot-shooting start. Toronto made just 8-of-22 field goals in the quarter while giving up a 44 percent shooting quarter to the Bucks. The Raptors didn’t shoot well from the field, but did have success from beyond the arc, making 5-of-12 attempts from three. Toronto’s hot-shooting from deep kept the Raptors on pace with the Bucks as both teams scored 27 points and the Raptors took a three-point lead into the halftime break, leading 55-52. The Bucks were led by 11 points apiece from Khris Middleton and Greg Monroe off the bench as Toronto’s best defensive efforts held Giannis Antetokounmpo to a 4-for-14 first half for his eight points. Kyle Lowry led all scorers with 17 points in the first half on 4-for-8 field goals.
HEATING UP IN THE THIRD
Both teams came out of the locker room after halftime ready to go. Although the Bucks quickly tied the game early in the third, Toronto used an offensive flurry to build a 13-point lead midway through the quarter thanks to crisp ball movement that allowed the Raptors to find open looks and knock them down. DeMarre Carroll led the Raptors in the third, scoring all nine of his points in the quarter. Toronto shot 63 percent in the quarter, while Milwaukee shot 53 percent. Despite building a 13-point lead with 6:37 to go in the quarter, the ball movement started to slow and Toronto allowed the Bucks to close the third on a 23-11 run to trim the lead to 84-83 heading into the fourth quarter.
CLOSING OUT IN DRAMATIC FASHION
The fourth quarter was a dramatic affair as the Raptors opened on an 11-0 run behind two 3-pointers from Serge Ibaka, a layup from Cory Joseph and another 3-pointer from P.J. Tucker to build a quick 12-point lead. Similarly to the third quarter, the Raptors were unable to run away with the game as the Bucks simply refused to go away, slowly chipping at the Toronto lead until a 3-pointer from Giannis Antetokounmpo tied the game with 2:49 remaining. From there, the Bucks had multiple looks attempts from beyond the arc, but could not get their shots to fall. Toronto did not ever give up the fourth-quarter lead and secured the victory with a step-back jumper from Lowry and a pair of free throws from Patrick Patterson. Toronto shot 47 percent in the final frame, holding Milwaukee to 33 percent from the floor.
RAPTORS PLAYER OF THE GAME
Kyle Lowry bounced back from a quiet Game 1 performance with 22 points, none more important than the step-back jumper to all but seal the win with 8.9 seconds remaining. Lowry shot 6-for-12 from the floor, 2-for-5 from beyond the arc and 8-for-9 from the free throw line. He added four rebounds, five assists, three steals and a blocked shot.
UNDERRATED RAPTORS PLAYER OF THE GAME
Serge Ibaka was a game-time decision because of a sprained ankle and wound up being one of the most important Raptors on the floor in 36 minutes. Ibaka had a slow start, but found his way after halftime, finishing with 16 points to go with seven rebounds, a team-high six assists and two huge blocked shots. The Raptors were a +13 when Ibaka was on the floor and after the game DeMar DeRozan said the win wouldn’t have happened without Ibaka’s performance.
THAT’S A RAP…
“The play was for DeMar. The play was for DeMar to get a bucket. That’s our guy. They did a good job of stronging, and getting over there, and Giannis, they had two guys on him, and he trusted us. He threw it to Serge, and Serge gave it to me. For me, I just wanted to get to my spot. I knew there was five seconds on the shot clock, I wanted to get to my spot. Get to my spot and let it go. At the end of the day, I work on my shot almost every day. So if I missed it, I would have still been happy because I got to my spot. But I was gonna try to make it.” – Kyle Lowry on the step-back jumper to give Toronto a 104-100 lead with 8.9 seconds remaining
BY THE #’S
14…The Raptors made a franchise-record 14 3-pointers. Toronto shot 14-for-29 from beyond the arc (48 percent). Milwaukee shot 11-for-23 from deep (48 percent).
24…Assists for the Raptors, 20 for the Bucks.
13…Turnovers for Toronto leading to 19 points scored by the Bucks. After having just five turnovers in Game 1, Milwaukee turned the ball over 12 times in Game 2, leading to 18 points scored by the Raptors.
23…Points, seven rebounds, three assists for DeMar DeRozan who shot 9-for-18 from the floor and 5-for-6 from the free throw line in to lead the Raptors in scoring in 38 minutes.
41…Percent shooting for the Bucks in the game. Toronto shot 48 percent.
THEY SAID IT…
“It’s just his competitive edge. He’s one of those guys who is a competitor. Being with him over these years, I’ve seen him be in the trenches with him before. He’s always bounced back. That’s just who he is. He’s a competitor. He’s a fighter. I just knew that he wasn’t going to be satisfied with the way he played in the first game. He’s human. Everyone has a night like that. We just can’t panic every time a guy like that has a tough night. This is a tough league. Milwaukee is a tough, grind-it-out-type league. They’re going to make it hard on us. We have to turn it around in their building and do the same thing to them.” – Dwane Casey on Kyle Lowry having a big Game 2 performance
“Just playing. Going out there and taking my shots. Being aggressive. My teammates challenged me, like I said before and I got to the free-throw line nine times. Got aggressive early and the second half, DeMar kind of got himself going. So we balanced well tonight. For me, it was just going out there and playing.” – Kyle Lowry on his Game 2 performance
“It’s big. Just getting out there, being a solider, doing the things he was able to do tonight for us, especially defensively. He hit some key shots in the fourth quarter. He got us going, playing through that sore ankle, and without him, we wouldn’t have got this win tonight.” – DeMar DeRozan on a huge effort from Serge Ibaka
“I know how important this game tonight was for our team so I just wanted to stay focused, keep working.” – Serge Ibaka on playing nearly the entire second half
“I thought we did a better job of moving the basketball. They’re a long team. We had to do a better job of spacing, creating space with screens, zip passes. You can’t throw, as my college coach used to say, dying-quail passes. I thought we did a much better job throwing on-time, on-target passes. They present a problem with their length. … And I thought we lost our mind a little bit. We had a 13- or 12- point lead there in the third quarter, and we kind of got away from ourselves in terms of our passing, taking care of the basketball and getting quality shots. That’s something we’ve got to be mindful of.” – Dwane Casey on getting better ball movement from his team
The series shifts to Milwaukee where Game 3 will take place on Thursday at 8 P.M. ET.