Antetokounmpo leads Bucks over Raptors

Bucks Raptors Basketball

Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo (34) reacts after a play against Toronto Raptors guard DeMar DeRozan (notpictured) in game one of the first round of the 2017 NBA Playoffs at Air Canada Centre.

"I've been in the trenches with him before and he's always bounced back", Raptors coach Dwane Casey said.

For Serge Ibaka, who has been here for only two months, it's just as much of a mystery. He's a competitor, he's a fighter. "They game-planned really well for us".

Milwaukee brought the better game to the court. That's when their star point guard, Kyle Lowry, stepped up.

Not that the Raptors (and their fans) needed more reasons to feel nervous today, but here we are. "Tonight he did a better job of shooting the ball and finding his teammates, too". His step back jumper with 8.9 seconds remaining gave Toronto a 104-100 lead.

"It gets worse", Lowry said.

"Maybe you guys can tell us", he said to the roomful of media. He threw it to Serge and Serge gave it to me. The Cavs were just 14 of 27, the kind of performance that often comes back to bite a team - and almost did.

"It's a credit to him that he sets screens that way and gets away with it".

Giannis is doing insane things this year, for a young Bucks team that starts two rookies.

"OK, so next question", said DeRozan. "It's never ideal. But we've got to bounce back and understand we make it hard on ourselves.to come back and fight back even harder".

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"It's big. him doing the things he was able to do tonight for us, especially defensively", DeRozan said of Ibaka. "It's wonderful how hard he's got those guys playing".

Ibaka made two 3-pointers as Toronto scored the first 11 points of the fourth quarter to open the 12-point lead. Their bench helped them recover and take a five-point lead into halftime, but they were down again early in the third. The Bucks played good defense but the effort was not there from the Raptors, either. He also floored DeRozan late in the second quarter, collecting a foul to deny a dunk. Antetokounmpo lead the way for Milwaukee with 28 points.

What did you think of the Toronto Raptors 97-83 loss to the Milwaukee Bucks?

Antetokounmpo was plucking rebounds like insane, but he was missing shots at an unusual rate early on, from jumpers, to layups, and tips. The Bucks beat the Raptors on March 4 to end a seven-game losing streak against Toronto.

Toronto is 6-6 all time in Game 2s. After all, they lost Game 1 of their first-round series previous year at home as a two seed.

Toronto would go just 7-for-35 on field goal attempts in the second half, scoring a total of 32 points in the final 24 mintues to put themselves in the familiar spot of having to come from behind in a playoff series. He did not practice Monday, is listed as day-to-day and is expected to play in Game 2.

After that stellar second quarter by the Raptors, Milwaukee just muscled up and took the game over.

The Milwaukee Bucks are growing up before our very eyes, and while it doesn't mean they are going to win this series, looking at all of their success and attributing it to Toronto's playoff struggles would be a mistake.

NEED TO KNOW The Jazz gained home-court advantage by winning their first playoff game since 2010 on a floater at the buzzer by Joe Johnson (Little Rock Central/Arkansas Razorbacks).

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