3:09 AM ET

  • Tim BontempsESPN

MILWAUKEE — Because the closing seconds of the third quarter of Sport 1 of the Jap Convention finals bled away, Toronto Raptors ahead Pascal Siakam brought the ball upcourt. At the final 2nd, and peaceable a pair of steps on the support of the 3-point line, he rose up for a shot over the outstretched arm of Milwaukee Bucks vital person Giannis Antetokounmpo, and the ball softly dropped thru the safe because the buzzer sounded.

The basket gave the Raptors an eighty three-Seventy six lead after three quarters and seemingly had them poised to make your mind up home-court advantage from the prime-seeded Bucks on this sequence. As a replacement, it grew to change into out to be the closing field procedure that any Raptor no longer named Kyle Lowry would rate Wednesday evening.

Barely than desire an early lead within the sequence, the Raptors instead saw the Bucks outscore them 32-17 within the closing quarter, as Milwaukee emerged with a 108-one hundred victory in front of a sellout crowd here at Fiserv Forum.

“Gorgeous annoying,” Lowry said. “Fourth quarter killed us. … They outplayed us within the fourth quarter. They bought rather bit extra aggressive. They made some monumental shots, made some monumental plays.

“It sucks must you lose fancy that. Nevertheless we had a possibility. We now comprise bought to be taught from it, rate an adjustment. [We have to] finish even-keeled … no longer too excessive, no longer too low. Honest correct see on the film and web better.”

Kawhi Leonard (two) and Siakam (one).

“Couple key turnovers,” Leonard said after ending with 31 aspects but going zero-for-3 and perfect scoring these two aspects within the fourth. “Missed some straightforward layups, some huge-initiate 3s. And we didn’t play too smartly on protection. … They ended up scoring their very most real looking quarter aspects within the fourth quarter. [That] quite noteworthy sums it up.”

Toronto saw that preliminary lead entering the fourth straight away evaporate within the outlet two minutes while Leonard changed into on the bench. The Raptors had three initiate looks — a Norman Powell layup, a Fred VanVleet midrange jumper from the prime of primarily the most main and then a VanVleet 3-pointer from the soar — but none of them went in.

On the opposite discontinuance, Milwaukee — which went a blended 6-for-34 from 3-point range thru the first three quarters — straight away bought two straight 3s from Brook Lopez (who executed with a personnel-excessive 29 aspects to partner with 11 rebounds and four blocks) and a pair of free throws from Nikola Mirotic to desire its first lead since early within the first quarter.

And while the groups went over the closing few minutes — thanks in gigantic fragment to Lowry’s heroics — after Leonard drained two free throws to rate it one hundred-Ninety eight with 3:31 final, the Bucks scored the closing 10 aspects to seal the victory. Toronto missed its closing eight shots over that span, including five 3-pointers.

Philadelphia 76ers within the Jap Convention semifinals, a series the Raptors won thanks to Leonard’s estimable buzzer-beater Sunday evening. The Bucks, nonetheless, executed off the Boston Celtics in five games and had per week to leisure and put together at home for this game, and Milwaukee completely seemed fancy the more energizing personnel down the stretch.

From Toronto’s standpoint, though, the why of how this game played out the system it did not without lengthen changed into beside the point. A probability to desire adjust of this sequence fair off the bat had been wasted. Now, the Raptors must peaceable no longer comprise any selection but to strive and accumulate a system to place themselves in a identical space when these groups meet all every other time here Friday evening in Sport 2 of this simplest-of-seven affair.

“Every of these games is extreme,” Raptors coach Gash Nurse said. “I blueprint we played tricky tonight, a tough imprint of basketball, for primarily the most fragment.

“We gave ourselves a possibility to procedure shut a game on the highway within the Jap Convention finals. It didn’t prove, and we put in rather heaps of work, but you will file that one away and put in additional work the following time.”

“We gotta web some leisure here tonight, point of interest in on our film, figure out some adjustments, sort up some self belief,” Nurse added. “Nevertheless nonetheless, as soon as it will get ready to switch up for Sport 2, we must be tricky.”


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