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Hungry Raptors rebound in tough battle with Bucks to tie series

06 May 2017

The Bucks, who are making their first post-season appearance in two years, take a 2-1 lead in the best-of-seven opening round series into Saturday's Game 4 in Milwaukee.

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

"We were just trying to send as many bodies to him as we possibly could", Casey said.

He shot 12-for-22 on the afternoon, and hit all nine free throws.

Kyle Lowry contributed 18 points - 14 of them in the second half. Milwaukee now holds a 2-1 lead in the series and the Bucks have covered the spread in four straight meetings with the Raptors.

Bucks All-Star forward Giannis Antetokounmpo was held to just 14 points, his lowest scoring effort in the series so far.

The morning after the Raptors were shocked and humiliated 104-77 in Game 3, DeRozan vowed that Saturday's game would be different. Before that, he created little bits of new magic to keep the Bucks in the game, like tipping enough rebounds to himself or to teammates that I nearly wrote a story about just that. He is an unbelieveable friend. "And I thought the guys executed the game plan for 48 minutes". I don't sleep well. He is always the guy who says everything happens for a reason. The Bucks hit 52.7 percent of their shots from the floor and knocked down 12 of 23 3-point attempts, finishing one 3-pointer shy of the franchise's playoff record. "I knew lightning don't strike twice in the same place". "It's not a factual fact".

"But it sounds good", DeMar said, with a grin.

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Normally when a team gets down by the large deficit the Raptors found themselves in early in the game, there is a run that at least brings it back to some level of respectability. Regular starting centre Jonas Valanciunas would come off the bench in order to guard troublesome lefty centre Greg Monroe once he entered the game. The playful nature of this team on and off the court is fun to watch, but true contenders follow blowout wins with workmanlike performances. When Powell drilled a three-pointer with four minutes left, it gave Toronto a 10-point lead and prompted a "Let's go Raptors!" cheer from one section of the arena.

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Another raucous crowd of Bucks fans, waving white "Fear the Dear" towels, squeezed into the arena.

The little dumpoffs once the Raptors got into the Bucks paint that paid dividends in Game 2 were swallowed up by the swarming Bucks who seemed to be everywhere on this night. Wright drained a three-pointer two seconds before the break, and the Raptors trudged into the halftime break down 57-30.

Following Saturday, the series shifts back to Toronto for Game 5 on Monday. Against an impossibly long Bucks defense, they didn't even score 50 points until the fourth quarter and don't appear to have any great solutions right now for a struggling offense.

Toronto continues to be softer than baby poop, the Bucks are beating them up, and until that changes, no other adjustments in this series will matter.

The leather-lunged crowd of 18,717 fans at BMO Harris Bradley Center - including quarterback Aaron Rodgers and several Green Bay Packers teammates - sounded louder from the opening tipoff than at any moment during Game 1 or 2 back in Toronto.