Bucks easily cruise past Raptors in Game 2 of Eastern Conference Finals

Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports

The Milwaukee Bucks host the Toronto Raptors in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Finals tonight at 8:30 on TNT. It's something Toronto has never done before. Kawhi Leonard did what he could to keep his team alive with 31 points, eight rebounds and two assists.

Toronto was in control of Wednesday's contest for most of the way, jumping out to an 11-point lead after the first quarter and owning a seven-point edge at the start of the fourth quarter. Giannis Antetokounmpo scored 24 points and grabbed 14 rebounds to make it a double-double, while center Brook Lopez led the way for Milwaukee with a career playoff high of 29 points.

Gasol struggled mightily, finishing with two points on 1-for-9 shooting and looking out of sorts all night. After shooting 57 percent in the paint through the first two rounds (in which they faced two very good defenses), the Raptors have shot just 49 percent (36-for-73) in the paint through the first two games of the conference finals. The Raptors, on the other hand, had just 11.

But it should be of no slight to the Bucks if they are able to make it out of a highly competitive Eastern Conference to contend for an National Basketball Association title.

On Saturday, the Portland Trail Blazers will host the Golden State Warriors for game 3. "The beginning put us in a real bad spot and we couldn't get a grip of the game early on, and I take full responsibility for that".

While Giannis Antetokounmpo acknowledges that LeBron James' departure opened up the East, that fact should not diminish what the Bucks have accomplished.

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The Raptors outscored the Bucks 38-31 in the frame and got the Bucks' lead down to as little as 13 points but Milwaukee bounced right back to get the lead back up to 20.

While the Bucks' bench trio of Ilyasova, George Hill and Malcolm Brogdon came out to play, the Raptors' role players did not. "We just came out and like I said, they hit us but we stuck with it, we stuck together kept playing as a team and kept playing defense", he added. Whether you are a new fan hopping on the bandwagon or have been through the tough times, it's been quite the journey to say the least.

The Bucks, who never trailed on the night, led by as many as 28 points in the third quarter and entered the fourth with a 17-point advantage.

Leonard's three-point play pulled Toronto within 15 points with 6:10 to play, but that was the end of any Raptors momentum. He was like: "'Alright, it's going to be 72.' He made them both, so he wasn't fazed".

Aside from Serge Ibaka's big Game 7, Toronto's bench was a virtual zero in the second round.

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