Game 4 Preview: Raptors vs Bucks
Milwaukee Bucks (2-1) @ Toronto Raptors (1-2)
When: Tuesday, May 21st, 8:30 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 out. For the Bucks, Donte DiVincenzo (Bilateral heel bursitis) and Pau Gasol (left foot surgery) are listed as out. D.J. Wilson (left ankle soreness) is listed as questionable.
- On the board: The Raptors took Game 3 to get on the board in the series, even if it took some extra time. Toronto now looks to even the series at two games apiece when they host the Bucks on Tuesday for Game 4. With Sunday’s victory at Scotiabank Arena, the Raptors have now won three straight playoff games at home.
- Recent History: The Raptors outlasted the Bucks to win a wild 118-112 double-overtime victory in Game 3. Despite Kyle Lowry fouling out midway through the fourth quarter, Norman Powell fouling out toward the end of regulation, and Marc Gasol playing with five fouls for much of the fourth and both overtime periods, the Raptors dug deep and were able to hold on for the victory, which has become an instant classic. Kawhi Leonard again led the way, scoring 36 points for the Raptors, while Pascal Siakam added 25 points and 11 rebounds. The Bucks were led by 24 points from George Hill, 20 points from Malcolm Brogdon, and a 12-point, 23-rebound, seven-assist effort from Giannis Antetokounmpo in the loss.
- Ring it up: Kawhi Leonard led all scorers with 36 points in Game 3. He played a career-high (and game-high) 52 minutes, adding nine rebounds, five assists, two steals and a blocked shot. Leonard shot 11-for-25 from the floor, including 2-for-4 from beyond the arc and 12-for-13 from the free-throw line. He also became just the seventh player since 2000 to score at least 30 points in 10 or more playoff games in a single season, joining Kobe Bryant, Allen Iverson, LeBron James, Kevin Durant, Amar’e Stoudamire and Dwyane Wade. In three games against the Bucks, Leonard is averaging 32.7 points, 8.7 rebounds, 3.0 assists and 1.7 steals.
- Trusting the grind: After Norman Powell provided a boost in Toronto’s Game 2 loss in Milwaukee, Raptors head coach Nick Nurse said that Powell would play a bigger role in the series moving forward. Powell came off the bench to play 30 minutes on Sunday. He would have played more, if not for fouling out with a minute remaining in regulation. Powell was huge for the Raptors in Game 3, scoring 19 points while adding four rebounds, three assists and a steal. He was efficient from the floor as well, shooting 7-for-13, including 3-of-5 from beyond the arc and 2-of-2 from the free-throw line.
- Righting the course: Marc Gasol had a huge role in Toronto’s Game 3 victory. Despite picking up his fifth foul midway through the fourth quarter, Gasol played the entire fourth quarter and both overtime sessions without a break. He played solid defence, never picking up a sixth foul, and he finished with 16 points, a team-high 12 rebounds, team-high seven assists, a steal and a game-high five blocked shots. He shot 5-for-10 from the floor, 4-for-8 from beyond the arc and 2-for-2 from the foul line. After struggling in Game 2, it was a welcomed bounce back. Gasol was asked after the game if he was happy to be able to contribute in such a big win.“Yes,” he said. “Especially because of the win. [If] you play like crap and your team wins, it’s a lot easier to sleep and obviously the last 48 hours [after Game 2], you feel pretty crappy. So I’m happy we won tonight and now we have to have the same mindset for Game 4. There’s no other way to beat this team. You have to have the same mindset and do it possession by possession by possession, continue to chip in.”