Bucks overwhelm Raptors 104-77, take 2-1 series lead

Posted May 06, 2017

The Toronto Raptors regained their energy to bounce back in Game 4.

This first round matchup was back-and-forth as the Raptors would barely pull through and win the series in seven games.

Raptors 87, Bucks 76: DeMar DeRozan regained his playmaking form and Toronto reasserted itself on defense to tie the Eastern Conference series at two games apiece.

"They ambushed us", Raptors coach Dwane Casey said.

That may sound obvious (and truthfully it is) but far too often in dissecting a series we get caught up in who has the most overall talent, who has the better depth, which team has the edge in experience, who has the fresher legs and a number of factors which matter a whole lot more when there is a sizable gap between the two teams taking part in the series.

The Bucks committed 21 turnovers Saturday. They didn't, thanks in part to Khris Middleton's continued hot streak in the series (he finished with 20, majority coming in the first half when the Bucks made sure to put the game away) and some fantastic bench performances, led again by Greg Monroe (16 points, 7 rebounds).

"I thought, one, the fans were great here at home, giving us the support from start to finish", he said.

Bucks fans were tailgating outside Milwaukee's BMO Harris Bradley Center Saturday afternoon as a live band played. "They found a way to slow us down and our tempo really slowed in the second half and came to a halt". It wasn't a high-scoring game. Unfortunately, he couldn't make a shot either. "There are a couple of things we can do better at to make sure we do get bodies back and fly out and get to especially Tony Snell".

Among the adjustments made by the Raptors on Saturday was to use center Jonas Valanciunas off the bench and start guard Norman Powell at small forward.

"Indiana series. Miami series", Casey said, in reference to last year's playoffs. Wright drained a three-pointer two seconds before the break, and the Raptors trudged into halftime down 57-30 - just four points shy of their biggest halftime deficit in playoff history (31 points previous year in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference finals against Cleveland).

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Lowry scored 13 points to top Toronto, while DeRozan went without a field goal in the playoffs for the first time in his career, managing just eight points on 0-for-8 shooting.

"Just throwing bodies", he said of defence he faced. Not only do the players and coaches have to bring everything they've got, but the fans do as well.

The moves didn't stop there for the Bucks, as their mascot showed off some comedy to diss the Raptors in Game 4, as well. The Dubs won the second half 65-46 with major contributions from JaVale McGee (14 points), Andre Iguodala (16 points) and Draymond Green (9 points, 8 rebounds, 7 assists, 6 blocks).

"We know what to expect from them", Casey said. "We've got to be tougher with the ball and understand it was a physical game". "He had the proper attitude, proper disposition and he was a pro". "Just an aggressive curl led to a score". (They managed just nine points versus Detroit in 2002).

After the disaster we just witnessed in Game 3 my hand has already turned the key to open then the glass case, I've already entered the codes to activate the button and now my hand is hovering over red button labeled "PANIC".

"They're going to come out ready to fight, they're going to come out ready to compete".

"He's in the upper echelon of players that carry their team and that's the only way you can get back on track, to respond", DeRozan said Sunday.

DeRozan was feeling a sigh of relief after picking up his play.

"What I normally do is be aggressive, be physical and make it hard. on the defensive end", Powell said.