Game 3 Preview: Raptors vs Bucks

After the Bucks’ lopsided win in Game 2 it’s time to start believing what we’ve been seeing

The NBA's Eastern Conference finals move to Toronto for Sunday's Game 3 with the Raptors trailing 2-0 in the series, but posted as 3-point favorites over the Bucks. The Bucks' series lead is now 2-1 with Game 4 set to take place on Tuesday, May 21st in Toronto at 8:30p.m. ET on TNT.

The Raptors led for virtually all of regulation, and nearly all of both overtimes, but did so while getting nearly all of their points from five players: Leonard, Pascal Siakam (25), Marc Gasol (19), Norman Powell (19) and Lowry (11).

When Lowry fouled out midway through the fourth quarter, it was fair to wonder if there would be a relevant "next one" at all, given that a loss would have put Toronto in an all-but-fatal 3-0 hole in the series.

According to oddsmakers, the Raptors are the favorite at home tonight, as they are getting odds of -2 points against the Bucks. Giannis Antetokounmpo led the Bucks with 30 points, 17 rebounds and five assists in the win.

One player who has been quiet this offseason has been Nikola Mirotic, a 6-10 forward who is a 36 percent career three-point shooter.

The Raptors led by as many as 11 points but had only a two-point advantage entering the fourth quarter. After tallying just eight points through the first two games, he managed to finish with 16 points and four made 3-pointers.

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Leonard's 16-footer put Toronto into a 93-91 lead, which grew to three when Siakam made one of two free throws with 1:41 remaining and five when Leonard made two free throws with 1:13 left.

Malcolm Brogdon's basket with 38 seconds left pulled the Bucks to within two points.

Leonard did display a dry sense of humour when asked about Pascal Siakam's two free throw misses with seven seconds left in regulation time and the Raptors leading 96-94. That's because, for the latest time this season, and the second time in a week, Leonard willed the Raptors to a win. Leonard also leads all players in the 2019 postseason with 444 total points scored through 14 games played. Toronto coach Nick Nurse said he thought Leonard was "OK", and Leonard himself dismissed any reason to expect him to miss time in this series. Two free throws by Lopez trimmed the lead to one. A Gasol three and Leonard dunk off a Green steal had the Raptors up by three.

Toronto was down 9-0 in the first three minutes and that told the tale of the game.

The duo combined for 44 of the team's 54 bench points, with 12 coming from the pair in the overtime periods, as the Bucks leaned on their reserve guards with Antetokounmpo off the floor.

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