The Milwaukee Bucks failed to execute down the stretch in game two, as they lost to the Toronto Raptors 106-100.
Giannis Antetokounmpo led the way again for Milwaukee with 24 points, 15 rebounds, 7 assists and 2 steals. He struggled early on in the game, and especially when Raptors forward PJ Tucker was guarding him. Giannis was relatively
“quiet” in the first half, only scoring 8 points, but he did have 10 rebounds and 4 assists. He shot 9-24 from the field which is very uncharacteristic, and the Raptors made him work for every basket.
Milwaukee for the second game in a row, struggled in the second quarter and found themselves down 13 before halftime. They eventually made a late run to end the half and close the deficit to 55-52.
Khris Middleton returned to “Khash” form with 20 points, 5 rebounds and he hit all 3 of his three point attempts. This is a great sign for Milwaukee to get Khris back into his midseason form. He was hitting from everywhere, inside, outside, midrange, his offensive game was on tonight.
Tony Snell had a tremendous first half, but was barely heard from again in the second half as head coach Jason Kidd went with Matthew Dellavedova for the majority of the second half. Snell finished game two with 14 points. Dellavedova only scored 7 points on 3-10 shooting, but he played great defense and was making the extra pass to his teammates for the open shot. The Bucks just failed to hit shots in crunch time.
Toronto was carried by Kyle Lowry (22 points) and DeMar DeRozan (23 points). However, the difference in this game was Raptors big man Serge Ibaka. He was a thorn in the side for Milwaukee all night as he torched them for 16 points, 7 rebounds and 6 assists. Milwaukee had no answer for him offensively, and he was an even bigger force on the defensive end with 2 blocks and countless shot alterations.
Toronto also got huge contributions from bench player Cory Joseph who finished with 11 points and 3 three pointers. As a team, Toronto made a franchise record 19 three pointers on 29 attempts (48%). Again, the Raps killed Milwaukee by hitting a bevy of corner three pointers, a weakness in the Bucks defense.
Milwaukee shot a poor 41% from the floor, but they were very much in this game because they hit 11-23 three pointers (47%) and outshot Toronto by 10. Milwaukee really had no business being in this game, but they kept fighting their way back into it. Greg Monroe helped keep Milwaukee close with 18 points and 4 rebounds. Malcolm Brogdon, who was coming off an excellent game one, was very quiet in game two. He finished with 7 points, 4 rebounds and 3 assists on 3-11 shooting. He had a wide open three to tie the game left in the fourth that was more than half way down, and it popped out. It was one of those nights for the Bucks.
If I am a Raptors fan, I am definitely concerned with tonights result. They let Milwaukee keep clawing back, and they really lacked the killer instinct to put the Bucks way early. Toronto hit 19 three pointers and still only won by 6. I expect game three to be an electric atmosphere in Milwaukee.