The Raptors are coming off a hard-fought seven-game series win over the Philadelphia 76ers, and Kawhi Leonard is playing as well as any superstar left in the postseason. In truth, they don't have many elite outside shooters but they have over half a dozen guys who are both willing and able to let it fly, and they can overwhelm teams when they get hot.
A pair of Lowry three-pointers a minute and 19 seconds apart tied the game at 98-98 with 3:31 to play, but Lopez responded with a dunk and three-pointer and the Bucks took a four-point lead into the final 1:55. Bucks have a better field goal percentage (47.5% to 47.1%), while Raptors have a better 3-point percentage (36.1% to 35.3%).
Leading the Bucks' resurgence is MVP candidate Giannis Antetokounmpo, a fan favorite and a source of pride for Milwaukee's Greek community.
During the four regular-season meetings between these two teams - three of which were won by the Bucks - Bledsoe was an absolute menace on the defensive end against Lowry.
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The production is quite an achievement for a player who hadn't competed in an National Basketball Association game since December 1. I mean, if you're going to do it, go all in.
Milwaukee has been resting since eliminating Boston in Game 5 last Wednesday.
Lopez added 11 rebounds for the Bucks, who had three players post double-doubles.
The Raptors, who have a history of dropping Game 1s in the playoffs, will try to even the series on Friday, when they'll face the Bucks in Game 2. The Milwaukee Bucks are 10-4-1 ATS in their last 15 games as a home favorite. Bucks are better offensively, scoring 118 ppg to Raptors' 113.1 ppg, while Raptors are better defensively, allowing 106.8 ppg to Bucks' 108.5.
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If it's a Grade 1 strain, then Durant is likely out for the rest of the playoffs if they advance. Houston will host Game 6 and Game 7 will be played at Oracle.
Milwaukee finished with the NBA's best record, and though the line has moved in the Raptors direction, the Bucks are still favored by the oddsmakers to win. It will be interesting to see how the rest and the emotional high plays a role in this first game.
"They gave me a lot of attention when I was coming off the screens". If forced to pick, I'd eat the points with the Bucks based on how consistent they've been these playoffs and the fact the Raptors have thrown in some stinkers, especially on the road against lesser competition.
If Lillard and McCollum can not come close to the 54 points per game they have been averaging in the playoffs, the Trail Blazers will not have a shot.
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