Savage Raptors stomp Bucks to tie series at 2-2
LOS ANGELES, USA – After a double overtime escape, the Toronto Raptors hack out a more convincing victory over the Milwaukee Bucks to even the NBA Eastern Conference finals.
The Raptors came out dominant for a 120-102 Game 4 triumph over the Bucks that tied the best-of-seven series at 2-2 in Toronto on Tuesday, May 21 (Wednesday, May 22, Philippine time)
Kyle Lowry fired 25 points on top of 5 rebounds and 6 assists as the Raptors erected double-digit leads as high as 25 points, 120-95, in the final quarter.
A hurting Kawhi Leonard also delivered 19 points and 7 rebounds for a Toronto side that shot 14 triples in the game.
“We came out to do what we had to do,” said Norman Powell, who also had big night for the Raptors to finish with 18 points, 12 from beyond the arc.
Leonard, who downplayed suggestions he was injured after the gritty Game 3 victory, looked hobbled at times – wincing noticeably after dunking on Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo in the 3rd quarter.
Leonard grabbed a pass from Spanish big man Marc Gasol and drove for the basket, Antetokounmpo's move to stop him coming too late.
Leonard landed hard and held his left leg – although he would play on.
#WeTheNorth @sergeibaka (17 PTS, 13 REB), @npowell2404 (18 PTS, 4 3PM) , & @FredVanVleet (13 PTS, 6 AST) come up big off the @Raptors bench in the Game 4 W! #NBAPlayoffs— NBA (@NBA) May 22, 2019
Game 5: Thursday (5/23), 8:30pm/et, TNT pic.twitter.com/wFt74lrF0u
Khris Middleton paced the Bucks with 30 points, 6 rebounds and 7 assists.
MVP contender Antetokounmpo – who had 23 rebounds but struggled to just 12 points on 5-of-16 shooting in Game 3 – finished with a double-double of 25 points and 10 boards and also tallied 5 assists and 3 blocks.
“We got punched, they totally played well,” said Bucks coach Mike Budenholzer. “They played so well as a group.”
The Toronto bigs delivered with Gasol collecting 17 points, 5 rebounds, 7 assists and 2 blocks and Serge Ibaka dropping a double-double of 17 points and 13 boards.
Fred VanVleet also came through for the Raptors’ solid bench, shooting 3-of-3 from three-point range for 13 points and dishing out 6 assists.
"They did what they did at home and we did what we're supposed to do at home," said Lowry.
Game 5 will be played on Thursday, May 23 (Friday, May 24, Philippine time) in Milwaukee.
"Our back's against the wall still," Lowry added. "We're going into a hostile environment. They're going to be ready to go."
The winner of the series will take on two-time defending champions Golden State, who completed a Western Conference finals sweep of Portland to reach their fifth straight NBA Finals. – With a report from Agence France-Presse