Game 3 Preview: Raptors vs Bucks

Holly MacKenzie -

Milwaukee Bucks (2-0) @ Toronto Raptors (0-2) 

When: Sunday, May 19th, 7 P.M. ET

Where: Scotiabank Arena

Leading into tonight’s game:

- Injury report: For the Raptors, OG Anunoby (appendectomy), Jordan Loyd (coach’s decision) and Patrick McCaw (personal reasons) are listed as out. For the Bucks, Donte DiVincenzo (Bilateral heel bursitis) and  Pau Gasol (left foot surgery) are listed as out.

- Home court: The Raptors are back in Toronto to continue their Eastern Conference Finals series against the Milwaukee Bucks at Scotiabank Arena after dropping the first two games of the series on the road. Toronto is 5-2 at Scotiabank Arena in the postseason this year.

- Recent History: The Raptors dropped a 125-103 decision in Game 2 on Friday in Milwaukee. Though Kawhi Leonard topped the 30-point threshold once again this postseason, his 31 points and eight rebounds were not enough as the Raptors gave up a 31-point, 17-rebound, five-assist performance to Giannis Antetokounmpo, one of six Bucks players to reach double figures. Things fell apart quickly for Toronto in Game 2. The Bucks led by 18 in the first quarter, held a 14-point lead after the opening 12 minutes and led by 25 at the half. The Raptors didn’t get closer than 13 points in the second half.

Extra Assists

- Points on the board: Kawhi Leonard’s 31 points in Game 2 were a team-high. This is the second consecutive game where Leonard has scored 31 points against the Bucks. This was also the ninth time this postseason that Leonard has scored at least 30 points, making him the eighth player since 2000-01 to record at least nine 30-point playoff games in a single postseason. Leonard also leads all players in the 2019 postseason with 444 total points scored through 14 games played. 

- Understand the grind: Though the Raptors struggled throughout Game 2, Norman Powell came off the bench to provide a much-needed boost, joining Kawhi Leonard and Kyle Lowry as the three Raptors players to reach double figures. Powell scored 14 points in 25 minutes on Friday, shooting 6-for-9 from the floor, including 2-for-4 from beyond the arc, while adding four rebounds and two assists. His energy and efforts didn't go unnoticed. “I thought Norm had a good game,” Raptors head coach Nick Nurse said. “I thought defensively he was good and just playing hard. He was into people and up guarding and blocking people out with some physicality -- some of the things that we also need, so he should play a big role here going forward.”

- Take another look: As a result of the strong play of Powell and the slow start Toronto got off to in Game 2, Raptors head coach Nick Nurse made it sound as though the team could look to shake things up with respect to the rotation in Sunday’s game. “I think there could be more than one lineup change coming at us,” Nurse said in a conference call on Saturday. Though he mentioned looking at changes, he also spoke highly of his team’s starters and the trust they have earned from the coaching staff over the course of the regular season and playoffs. “I kind of trust these guys, who they are," Nurse said. "I believe in them and know they're better than they played [Friday] night and [they] have shown that on bounce-back situations usually.”

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