With Kawhi Leonard hampered by a leg injury, Kyle Lowry stepped up big for the Toronto Raptors, leading the way with 25 points, six assists and five rebounds. The Raptors took the lead late in the first quarter and never looked back-building the differential to 25 points during the fourth.
Despite the stellar play of Milwaukee's two best players, combined with the breakout from the Raptors' supporting cast, the Bucks failed to secure the victory, losing by the final score of 120-102. But the Raptors didn't need a superhuman effort from Leonard. I wish he would have played less than 30.
"We just came out in the third quarter flat", Antetokounmpo said.
In the three previous games of the series, the Bucks' bench averaged 43.3 points while the Raptors' second unit only averaged 26.0 points.
For a second consecutive game, much attention was paid to Leonard occasionally coming up limping throughout the proceedings. However, the Bucks star went 4 for 9 the rest of the way.
Reserve Norm Powell scored 18 points, and Marc Gasol had 17. "So just gotta keep focused, keep working", VanVleet said of his playoff struggles, according to TSN's Josh Lewenberg. VanVleet appeared to have emerged from his slump, looking visibly confident as he shot 5-for-6 from the field in 25 minutes of play.
Game 5 moves back to Milwaukee, where the Bucks will be hoping to make home court advantage count in surging ahead in the series. Through a half, the power forward had 12 points and nine rebounds in about the same total minutes he had in Game 3.
The Bucks saw a number of improvements, led by superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo. (We've) just got to play with more energy, execute better, but our feeling is the same.
At this time of year, you take the wins any way you can get them. Everything was easy. That's where my frustration was. "We always knew, we have a really deep team".
Game 5 is called pivotal for a reason. The Bucks have two of the remaining three games at home, but the Raptors have led for 61 percent of the minutes over the first four. "We've still got to get better, stick with our game plan".