Lowry bounces back, Raptors edge Bucks to even series at 1-1

Lowry proved his coach right.

Milwaukee leads this series 1-0 after picking up a road win this weekend in Toronto. "The first game they allowed me to go in the paint a lot". "My teammates challenged, like I said before". And I got to the free-throw line nine times.

Bulls guard Dwyane Wade had 22 points, including 16 in the second half, and Robin Lopez added 18 points and eight points. "And we didn't. I thought they were the more desperate team tonight". We just can't panic every time that a guy has a tough night.

Antetokounmpo would still have an impact on the game - 24 points, 15 boards and seven assists - but gone for the most part were the soul-crushing one-step dunks that littered the first game and sucked the life out of the Raptors. They had some leads, we came back.

"They had more bodies in the paint", Antetokounmpo said. "You've got to give it to him".

Despite their much-improved play, Milwaukee refused to go away, trailing by one-point heading into the fourth quarter.

Game 3 is Thursday night in Milwaukee. Letting the Bucks feel empowered by their defensive prowess would only build on the momentum they have after a statement Game 1. "It would have been easy to let go of the rope".

Toronto led 55-52 at the intermission. Lowry found success driving into the soft defense of Spencer Hawes, helping the Raptors gain a 50-42 advantage with 3:27 left before the half. You might not be able to stop the man, but you can help him stop himself. Not only do the Clippers not only have the best player on the court, they arguably have the two best players on the court in Chris Paul and Blake Griffin-especially if Rudy Gobert isn't playing.

DeRozan rebounded a Khris Middleton miss after the Raptors had played excellent defence, and Lowry drilled the game-winner.

"It's just his competitive edge", Casey said of Lowry. As the shot clock slowly ticks down, Milwaukee's offense grinds to a halt, until someone has to chuck an off-balance jumper. Lowry's jumper increased the lead to four points with 8.9 seconds to play.

The same player who averaged 21.2 points-per-game in the regular season managed to average just 13.5 ppg during that nine-game stretch, before busting out of his slump with 33 points in Game 3 of the second round against Miami.

"Our energy and effort, we have to be the desperate team", Kidd said. "And tonight, Toronto was the desperate team".

The Raptors have lost back-to-back games just once since the All-Star break, losing March 10 at Atlanta and March 11 at Miami. They are the first National Basketball Association team since the Kansas City/Sacramento Kings 1981-2001 to lose nine consecutive series-opening games.

Ibaka sprained his ankle in Game 1 of the first-round playoff series opener Saturday.

Raptors: Ibaka started despite a sore left ankle sustained when he stepped on Antetokounmpo's foot in the third quarter of Game 1.

Both teams now have one off day to prepare for a critical Game 3 in Milwaukee.

  • Loretta Pittman