The Raptors will try to claw their way back into the Eastern Conference Finals on Friday, May 17 when they take on the Bucks in Milwaukee. Game 2 gets underway at 8:30 p.m. EST from Fiserv Forum.
Splash Mountain Was Open for Business
Game 1 was billed as Giannis vs Kawhi, but the player who stood tallest was Brook Lopez. The 7’0″ center took full advantage of the Raptors’ lax perimeter defense to score a playoff career-high 29 points. Lopez came up particularly big in the fourth quarter as he nailed two three-pointers and had a pair of baskets in the paint to help the Bucks get back in the game.
— NBA on TNT (@NBAonTNT) May 16, 2019
“This is the Brook we all know and we all love,” Giannis Antetokounmpo said afterwards. “Marc Gasol is trying to be active and help a lot, and Brook is going to be wide open. When he’s going, we’ve got to find him more and more.”
When Kyle Lowry drops 30 but you still lose because you got cooked by Brook Lopez… pic.twitter.com/v24mr5GuZr
— Complex Sports (@ComplexSports) May 16, 2019
It’s unlikely Lopez will play the hero again this series, but he proved to be more than capable of carrying the Bucks on Wednesday night.
Toronto Collapsed in the 4th
The Raptors entered the game’s final frame with a comfortable 83-76 lead before proceeding to fall apart at the seams. Kyle Lowry went 5-for-7 and scored 14 points, but the rest of the Raptors shot 0-15 from the floor and missed all seven of their three-point attempts.
DeRozan watching Kyle Lowry finally show up in a playoff game after all these years pic.twitter.com/Nq4MSP4674
— Rivers Upchurch (@RiversUpchurch) May 16, 2019
Part of the credit goes to Milwaukee’s stout defense, but Toronto also just ran out of gas. Nick Nurse played four of his five starters 40 minutes or more and those heavy minutes appeared to catch up with them during the final frame.
“Our pace wasn’t good enough in the second half,” Lowry said. “The pace we played with in the first half is the pace we need to play all game. The fourth quarter killed us.”
Brogdon Was Big for the Bucks
Milwaukee got a welcome boost off the bench from Malcolm Brogdon, who was appearing in just his second game since May 15th after dealing with a plantar fascia injury in his right foot. The third-year guard had 15 points in 27 minutes and helped the Bucks’ bench outscore the Raptors’ reserves 22-12.
Malcolm Brogdon: haunting Raptors fans since 2017.
— Josh Lewenberg (@JLew1050) May 16, 2019
OG Not OK
The Raptors will likely have to wait another week before welcoming back OG Anunoby. The versatile forward is still recovering from an emergency appendectomy he underwent two days before the Raptors’ first-round series against the Magic. Anunoby is unlikely to play in the Eastern Conference Finals but could be available for the NBA Finals if Toronto advances.
JUST IN: #Raptors F OG Anunoby is still at least one week away from the possibility of a return, according to head coach Nike Nurse.
Anunoby has missed the entire postseason after undergoing an emergency appendectomy.
— TSN (@TSN_Sports) May 14, 2019
Toronto Raptors vs Milwaukee Bucks Regular Season Statistical Comparison
|112.5 (5th)||Offensive Rating||113.5 (4th)|
|114.4 8th)||Points||118.1 (1st)|
|25.4 (13th)||Assists||26.0 (7th)|
|47.4 (5th)||Field-Goal Percentage||47.6 (3rd)|
|36.6 (6th)||Three-Point Percentage||35.3 (15th)|
|+6.1 (3rd)||Plus/Minus||+8.9 (1st)|
|106.8 (5th)||Defensive Rating||104.9 (1st)|
|108.4 (9th)||Points||109.3 (11th)|
|44.9 (5th)||Field-Goal Percentage||43.3 (1st)|
|34.5 (8th)||Three-Point Percentage||36.1 (22nd)|
|47.5 (9th)||Points In The Paint||42.2 (1st)|
Bucks Favored to Win Again
Oddsmakers are believers in these high-powered offenses, as they’ve set the game total at a robust 216, with the Bucks opening as 7.0-point favorites. Toronto is 44-51-0 against the spread this season and 50-45-0 over/under, compared to 56-32-4 ATS and 47-45-0 over/under for Milwaukee.