Raptors head coach Dwane Casey predicted a bounce back performance from his point guard before the game, knowing that he is too competitive to play poorly in consecutive games.
Milwaukee will be a tough out. Turns out it's shaping up as a dog fight. And that's exactly what they did to the tune of a 106-100 victory, tying the series at one game apiece.
What the Raptors did well on this night was on offence, their efficiency much better than in Game 1, the ball swinging more freely, with more open looks being yielded.
One fan showed up to Maple Leaf Square - or "Jurassic Park" - to watch Game 2 carrying a "Trade Lowry" sign, creating an uproar on social media. Against the Bucks, hero ball is the worst strategy imaginable.
But these Bucks are resilient, and the theme in Game 2 was matching runs and staying within striking distance of the Raptors.
The Clippers played defence down the stretch.
Giannis Antetokounmpo tied it 100-100 with two minutes left.
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Se il nome Stakar non vi suona familiare, non vi preoccupate perché lo diventerà. Perciò, dopo molti mesi trascorsi a ruminare e discutere, conosco la risposta.
It was vintage post-season basketball - tight, tough, compelling and drama-filled.
Kyle Lowry experienced some deja vu on Saturday. The Raptors knocked down 14 threes, including a team-high four from Serge Ibaka.
At one point, Toronto went on a 13-0 run, only to see Milwaukee call a timeout and regroup by going on its own run, a 15-4 spurt. With all of the Raptors stars clicking, they managed to pull out a win at the very end in spite of a shaky fourth quarter. We did a good job of getting it to the weak side. Lowry's jumper increased the lead to four points with 8.9 seconds to play.
Despite the defeat, the sixth-seeded Bucks kept fighting back against the third-seeded Raptors each time Toronto tried to put them away. With Toronto holding a two-point lead, Milwaukee's Malcolm Brogdon and Matthew Dellavedova each missed wide-open threes in the final two minutes. With the score tied at 60, Toronto went on a 13-0 run.
He was playing hard, though, but left when he picked up two early fouls in the opening quarter. DeRozan had 12 points in the quarter while Middleton scored nine for Milwaukee. A dunk by Thon Maker trimmed the lead to five with six minutes to play. Lowry did not come out forcing shots - he acted as mostly a facilitator in the first quarter, hitting two free throws and making his first three-point attempt of the game to calm the nerves of the home crowd. The visitors managed to level the second quarter but it was still the Raptors who led 55-52 at the break.
DeMar DeRozan had 23 points and 7 boards, Serge Ibaka had 16 points and six dimes while big man Jonas Valanciunas added 10 markers and 10 rebounds as the Raptors shot 48.1 percent from the field (37-of-77) and 48.3 percent from 3-point range (14-of-29).
Cory Joseph, who went 1-of-5 from the field in Game 1, made all his three first-have attempts, all threes. His teammates and coaching staff told him they wanted him to be more aggressive, despite the fact that Milwaukee would surely not tone down its physicality or its frantic, trapping defense.