Toronto Raptors (0-1) @ Milwaukee Bucks (1-0)
When: Friday, May 17th, 8:30 P.M. ET
Where: Fiserv Forum
Leading into tonight’s game:
– Injury report: For the Raptors, OG Anunoby (appendectomy), Jordan Loyd (coach’s decision) and Patrick McCaw (personal reasons) are out. For the Bucks, Donte DiVincenzo (Bilateral heel bursitis) and Pau Gasol (left foot surgery) are listed as out.
– Bounce back: The Raptors continue their Eastern Conference Finals series against the Bucks in Milwaukee for Game 2 before the series shifts back to Toronto for Games 3 & 4. After dropping a tough 108-100 decision in Game 1 in on the road, Toronto is hoping to bounce back with a Game 2 victory and tie the series at one game apiece.
– Recent history: Toronto fell 108-100 in Game 1 against the Bucks, despite leading for much of the game. Toronto led by 11 after the opening quarter, eight at the half, and seven heading into the fourth. The final quarter is where things fell apart for the Raptors who were outscored 32-17 as the Bucks first tied the game with 9:56 remaining in the game and then took over the lead for good on a Brook Lopez dunk with 2:20 remaining. Kawhi Leonard scored 31 points to lead all scorers, and Kyle Lowry had 30 points in the loss. The Bucks were led by 29 points from Lopez and a 24-point, 14-rebound, six-assist effort from Giannis Antetokounmpo.
– Full 48 minutes: Heading into Game 2, the Raptors know they’ll need to piece together a full 48-minute effort. After leading throughout the second and third quarters in Game 1, when things flipped in the fourth, they really flipped. In addition to being outscored 32-17 in the quarter, Toronto also shot just 23 percent (5-for-22) in the fourth while giving up 50 percent shooting to the Bucks. A stand-out stat: Kyle Lowry was the lone Raptors player to have a field goal in the quarter, as he shot 5-for-7 from the floor and scored 14 of Toronto’s 17 points in the fourth.
– Defence turned up: Both teams had their defence dialled up in Game 1, with the Raptors shooting 37 percent in the loss while holding the Bucks to 40 percent shooting in a comeback victory. The Raptors became the first team since the 2004 Detroit Pistons to start three consecutive playoff series by liming their opponent to 40 percent shooting or less. In 13 playoff games, Wednesday against the Bucks was just the fourth time that the Raptors have given up 100 points to their opponent.
– Intangibles: Despite trailing for much of Game 1, the Bucks came out on top in many categories on Wednesday. Milwaukee won the battle of the boards 60-46, including 15-8 on the offensive glass. The Bucks also scored 20 points off 12 Toronto turnovers, while the Raptors converted 15 points off 13 Bucks turnovers. Milwaukee had a 44-26 advantage in points in the paint, a 24-13 advantage in second-chance points, and a 25-17 edge in fast-break points. Though it feels as though the Raptors let one get away, Kyle Lowry is already looking ahead to Game 2. “Every game is different,” Lowry said. “Every series is different. Every situation is different. We’re down one game. We have the opportunity to go in here and win a game on Friday and go home and protect our home court. We can’t worry about this, that and the other. We’ve got to worry about what we learned from yesterday, move forward today and get better for tomorrow.”