In the first game back from the break, Giannis Antetokounmpo leads the Milwaukee Bucks into Air Canada Centre to face off against fellow All-Star duo, the Kyle Lowry/Demar Derozan Eastern Conference-leading led Raptors.
Interim coach, Joe Prunty has yet to get a big win, here’s another opportunity. Raptors on a seven-game winning streak VS. Bucks on their 9-3 run, something had to give.
Going into the game, I was expecting a Bucks’ loss in a highly competitive game. As the game started, I started to build confidence in that stance. It was a fast paced game, which the Raptors would benefit from this the most. The Bucks were careless with the ball and seemingly not on the same page, maybe not even the same book. After a 9-3 run to close out the first quarter the team from the north found themselves up six.
Luckily the book store was still open and someone on the bench went to buy a good 20 copies of a book titled, “Answers” because that’s what the Bucks had.
They clawed back to make it a tied game at 31, 43, 46, and 56. Every time the Raptors looked to capture the momentum, the Bucks stopped the noise. Even pulling away at the half with help from a made three brought to you by Khris Middleton and foul on Derozan that caused him to snap. He’d get a technical, Khris would go on to make that a five point trip. That would aid a 11-1 run and a 65-57 lead into the half.
In the locker room, they’d read and went over chapter 2 of, “Answers”. The Raptors came out firing, they could not be stopped. With contributions from everyone on their team, they’d score 31 points.
With 31 points in a quarter any team would expect to cut into a lead and make it competitive in the fourth. As I mentioned the young Bucks had the answers, they too scored 31 points in the quarter and keep their 8-point lead into the fourth.
The first three and a half minutes in the fourth would mirror that of the second/third quarter for, Milwaukee. Then Toronto turned it up and after a layup by DeRozan, Toronto was up three with 4:42 on the game clock. For the last 4:42 it was a back and forth battle with 3 lead changes in that time period.
As time winds down the Bucks had the ball. Middleton misses a shot. Henson comes in strong for an offensive board. With a one-point lead, Toronto is forced to intentionally foul and send Khris Middleton (8/8 from the stripe on the night) to the line.
He’d miss the first, make the second, timeout Toronto. On the inbounds, the Bucks made sure the ball wasn’t getting to Derozan, it got to Jonas Valanciunas. Jonas looked puzzled, but with 3.3 he put the ball down, backed Henson to the rim, slammed on him as time expired. We are headed to overtime.
Overtime starts, Derozan looks winded, so does the whole Bucks lineup. Toronto would make their first two shots to go up five. Staying true to the game, Bucks would come back and go on an 8-0 run to go up three in the period. Jonas dunks, Giannis hit a midrange jumper, keeping Bucks up three. Demar with six seconds left misses a three, gets the board, and dunks.
At this point, they needed to fouls to get Milwaukee to the line. When they did only 0.4 left on the clock. Above all of that, no timeouts. Jason Terry would close it at the line.
Prunty got his first big win as the Bucks coach and put on a good display doing it too. He made subtle adjustments to attack the Raptors defense, worked all night. Was definitely surprise with the outcome. Here’s to consistency!
Next game: Sunday Vs. Pelicans (2:00 PM CT)