The Toronto Raptors have defended their homecourt and evened the Eastern Conference finals at 2-2. After an unpleasant Game 3 win, they arrived on the scene and delivered certainly one of their finest performances from the postseason in Game 4, taking lower the Milwaukee Dollars, 120-102.
Giannis Antetokounmpo departed to some great start after his terrible night in Game 3, scoring 11 points within the first quarter alone. But Kyle Lowry only agreed to be as hot in early stages, and it was type in enhancing the Raptors withstand the Bucks’ initial burst. Within the second quarter, the Raptors put Kawhi Leonard on Giannis which slowed lower the Greek Freak, and alternatively finish they began carving in the Bucks’ defense. They controlled the frame and opened up up a dual-digit lead in the break.
The 2nd half adopted in similar fashion, save for any brief surge through the Dollars within the third quarter to chop the deficit lower to 6 points. Kawhi Leonard and Co. needed having a response, though, and shortly obtained charge of the sport. They required a 13-point lead in to the 4th quarter, and weren’t challenged. A banked-in 3-pointer from Fred VanVleet that switched right into a four-point play after Giannis fouled Serge Ibaka while battling for that rebound place the Raptors up by 18 and effectively ended the sport.
Leonard come up with a gutsy performance while still battling some kind of leg injuries, finishing with 19 points, seven rebounds and 4 assists, while playing excellent defense. Lowry were built with a strong game too, opting for 25 points, five rebounds and 6 assists. Meanwhile, Ibaka, VanVleet and Norman Powell combined for 48 points from the bench. For that Dollars, Khris Middleton brought the way in which with 30 points.
Listed here are a couple of takeaways in the Raptors’ crucial win:
Raptors’ bench steps up
The Raptors’ entire supporting cast been sporadic within the playoffs, however their bench, particularly, continues to be downright bad at occasions. That wasn’t the situation whatsoever in Game 4. The trio of Serge Ibaka, Norman Powell and Fred VanVleet, who, typically, happen to be the only real reserves to experience significant minutes within the postseason, combined for 48 points, 19 rebounds and 11 assists. Powell, actually, required towards the most shots associated with a player hanging around with 18. The issue now, is would they translate that sort of performance towards the road? With Leonard clearly not 100 %, the Raptors will need their bench to help keep playing well if they would like to steal a game title on the highway — which they’ll have to do today to win the series.
Dollars in unfamiliar position
Heading into Game 3 in Toronto, the Dollars had lost only one game within the entire postseason. Now, within the length of only a couple of days, they have lost two times that quantity. Additionally towards the series now being tied at 2-2, case the 2nd time all season the Dollars have forfeit consecutive games. You need to go completely to March 2 and 4, once they lost back-to-back games towards the Utah Jazz and Phoenix Suns on the highway. Now, they’ve got to provide an emphatic response in Game 5 back in your own home on Thurs .. All season lengthy they have responded well to any kind of setback, however this is probably the most serious one they have worked with. Can they prepare yourself?
What’s going on with Kawhi?
Within the first quarter of Game 3, Kawhi Leonard had an uncomfortable landing around the fastbreak and made an appearance to suffer some kind of leg or knee injuries. Since he’s been seen wincing as he really must accelerate or explode, and has been limping at occasions. He was tremendous to shut out Game 3, but clearly wasn’t themself in Game 4. He still gave a gutsy performance, finishing with 19 points, seven rebounds and 4 steals, however it did not appear he could carry exactly the same kind of burden around the offensive finish he continues to be for a lot of the postseason. He required only 13 shots, second least simply to Game 5 from the first round once the destroyed the special moment. It had not been an issue on Tuesday night due to the effort in the bench, but that is not necessarily the situation. Leonard’s health is a main factor to look at heading into Game 5.