Holly MacKenzie – Raptors.com
IT WAS OVER WHEN
DeMar DeRozan hit a pair of free throws to put the Raptors ahead by three with 3.1 seconds remaining and then Patrick Patterson stole the ball to seal a wild 92-89 Game 6 victory, giving Toronto a 4-2 series win against the Milwaukee Bucks. Toronto will now move on to face the Cleveland Cavaliers in the second round.
GETTING OFF TO A GOOD START
Toronto opened Game 6 strong, shooting 52 percent while working hard on defence to keep the Bucks at 47 percent. DeMar DeRozan led the Raptors offensively with 10 points in a quarter where six players scored for Toronto. Giannis Antetokounmpo again led the Bucks, scoring 14 points in the opening quarter on 5-for-7 field goals. Toronto’s defence helped force the Bucks into six turnovers, leading to eight points scored by the Raptors as Toronto held a 28-24 lead after the first 12 minutes.
STRETCHING THE LEAD
Toronto’s defence was the star of the second, as the Raptors forced the Bucks into 27 percent shooting, as Milwaukee shot just 6-of-22 in the quarter. Toronto went 9-for-22 as the Raptors outscored Milwaukee 23-14 in the quarter. The Raptors had a good-shooting first half from deep, making 4-of-10 3-point field goals, while holding Milwaukee to 1-for-9 from beyond the arc. Toronto held its largest lead of the game at halftime, leading 51-38 behind a 16-point half from DeMar DeRozan. Giannis Antetokounmpo led all scorers with 18 points in the half.
ROLLER COASTER THIRD
The third quarter felt like two separate quarters as Toronto continued to roll after half, stretching that 13-point halftime lead to 25 points on a 3-pointer from DeMarre Carroll midway through the quarter. From there, the Bucks closed the quarter on a 15-3 run to cut Toronto’s lead to 13 heading into the fourth. Toronto shot 57 percent in the third while Milwaukee finished the quarter shooting 56 percent thanks to that late-quarter run. Giannis Antetokounmpo led the Bucks with nine points in the third while DeMar DeRozan led the Raptors with eight points.
FIGHTING FOR THE CLOSE OUT
After Milwaukee closed the third on a 15-3 run, things got worse for Toronto in the fourth. The 15-3 run ballooned to a 34-7 run as the Raptors scored just four points in nine minutes and the Bucks took a two-point lead on a Jason Terry 3-pointer with 3:06 remaining. After Milwaukee led by two on a layup from Greg Monroe with 2:29 remaining, the Raptors dug in, reeling off their own 9-0 run to take a seven-point lead with 33.9 on the clock. That run was made up of a dunk from Patrick Patterson, a 3-pointer and a pair of free throws from Cory Joseph, as well as a thunderous, emphatic slam from DeMar DeRozan. Though the Bucks continued to push, DeRozan made free throws late to give Toronto a three-point lead with 3.1 seconds remaining and a Patterson steal on the inbounds sealed the victory and the series for Toronto.
RAPTORS PLAYER OF THE GAME
DeMar DeRozan led the Raptors with 32 points in 41 minutes. He shot 12-for-24 from the floor and 8-for-9 from the free throw line while adding four rebounds, three assists and five steals. DeRozan’s eight points in the fourth led Toronto offensively, but it was the thunderous driving dunk with 48.7 seconds remaining to give Toronto a five-point advantage that was the defining play of the game.
UNDERRATED RAPTORS PLAYER OF THE GAME
Kyle Lowry scored 13 points in 44 minutes, Toronto’s second leading scorer after DeMar DeRozan. Lowry shot 5-for-9 from the floor, including 1-for-4 from beyond the arc and 2-for-4 from the free throw line. He added four rebounds, four assists, two steals and a blocked shot. The Raptors were a team-high +7 when Lowry was on the floor.
THAT’S A RAP…
“We talked about it in the locker-room, we both were completely calm. We knew they were going to make a run, we knew the situation. You’ve gotta stay calm. And for us, we wouldn’t be here, we wouldn’t do the things we do, without our teammates, simple as that. We are one team, one through 15. We’ve got a couple of guys in the D League right now, they won a championship – congratulations to those guys. But for us, it’s one through 15, we’re all the same. We on the same team, same page, we’re all in the same locker-room. We’re all equal. Without them, we wouldn’t be who we are.”
– Kyle Lowry when asked about he and DeMar DeRozan trusting their teammates
BY THE #’S
46…Percent shooting for Toronto, 42 percent shooting for Milwaukee.
43…Rebounds for the Raptors, 38 rebounds for the Bucks.
83…Percent shooting from the free throw line for the Raptors who went 19-for-23 at the line. The Bucks shot 64 percent from the line, making 18-of-28 free throws, but went just 9-for-18 at the line in the fourth quarter after making 9-of-10 free throws through the first three quarters.
15…Turnovers for Toronto leading to 19 points scored by the Bucks. Milwaukee turned the ball over 14 times, leading to 15 points scored by the Raptors.
THEY SAID IT…
“First off all, congratulations. Those guys did a heckuva job, well-coached team, hard-playing team, that team’s going to be a heckuva team to deal with in the future just because of how hard they play, their length, their defensive approach. They changed it up tonight, they stopped blitzing as much and got us into a more one-on-one game and we fell into the trap. We’ve got to do a better job of executing in the third quarter…Again, we didn’t think it was going to be easy but we made it harder than it needed to be.”
– Dwane Casey summing up a hard-fought series against the Bucks
“Once it got to the last couple minutes of the game, we understood now we’ve got to execute on both ends. We’ve just got to get one stop. Rebound the ball. Go down offensively, be calm, be patient, not force anything and get a basket. Possessions where Pat scored, Cory scored, that was big for us, and that was the time of the game where we really buckled down and understood: it’s winning time.”
– DeMar DeRozan on the mindset in the final few minutes of a roller coaster fourth quarter
“I’ve seen a lot of playoff games from my previous team and being here last year. I’ve been in a lot of situations like that. You just always have to play until that clock is zero, zero, zero, zero, whatever. You could never get too high or you can never get too low. Sometimes we get lazy. a little lazy. We tend to miss rotations and stuff when we build that cushion. We’ve got to be more disciplined. I was just saying during that timeout, because the scene was a little bit intense, guys looked tight on the bench, I was telling them relax, let’s move the ball, let’s run some plays, let’s do the things that got us up that high in the first place and just try to calm them down.”
– Cory Joseph on the message in a late timeout when the Bucks were ahead 80-78
“Staying positive and knowing that we’re going to win the game. It’s a game of runs. They went on their run. We’re a good team. We’ve got players that can make plays. We’re gonna make plays. It’s a basketball game. Don’t worry about what they’re doing. Play our game, play our style and things are going to work out.”
– Norman Powell on the message of a late-game huddle
“They’re a tough team. Hats off to them. They play extremely hard. J-Kidd had those guys playing great team basketball. It was a tough, tough series. We knew at any point they could make a run, which they did. They fought back. We knew they weren’t just going to roll over and let us win. They fought back and even went up. We had to keep our composure, keep confidence, and we’re able to pull it out.”
– Cory Joseph summing up the series
The Raptors advance to the second round where they will play the Cleveland Cavaliers. Game 1 will be in Cleveland on Monday at 7 P.M. ET.