Round 3 Game 5 Rap
It was over when…Kyle Lowry hit a pair of free throws to put the Raptors ahead by seven with 11.8 seconds remaining. The Raptors went on to pick up a 105-99 Game 5 win and take a commanding 3-2 series lead against the Milwaukee Bucks.
Slow start: The Raptors didn’t get the start they’d hoped for on Thursday, falling behind by as many as 14 points in the first quarter against the Bucks. Though they would get the lead down to 10 after the opening 12 minutes, Toronto wasn’t happy with allowing the Bucks to shoot 55 percent from the floor while they made 35 percent of their own shots in comparison. Kawhi Leonard led the Raptors with nine points in the period, while Eric Bledsoe led the Bucks, also with nine points.
Turning up the defence: Things improved for the Raptors with an improved defensive effort, as Toronto held Milwaukee to just 27 percent shooting in the second quarter, including 1-for-9 from beyond the arc. Toronto didn’t exactly light it up in the quarter, still shooting just 37 percent, but the solid defensive effort allowed the Raptors to win the quarter, 24-17 and go into the half trailing by just three, 49-46.
Keeping pace: The third quarter was a draw with both teams scoring 26 points, despite the Bucks shooting 50 percent from the floor and the Raptors shooting 33 percent. Toronto made up the difference beyond the arc and at the free throw line, where they shot 46 percent and 88 percent, respectively. Toronto received a nine-point effort from Fred VanVleet off the bench in the quarter to give him 15 points through three as the Bucks again held a three-point advantage, leading 75-72 heading into the fourth.
Taking control: The fourth opened with a 17-6 Raptors run as Kawhi Leonard outscored the entire Bucks team 12-6 in the first 5:40 of the quarter to give Toronto an 89-81 advantage, their largest lead of the game. Though the Bucks kept it close until the final seconds, the Raptors used a dominant 15-point fourth-quarter from Leonard to outscore the Bucks 33-24 in the fourth to pull away and pick up a comeback road win in Game 5.
Raptors player(s) of the game: Kawhi Leonard scored a game-high 35 points in 40 minutes. Leonard was 11-for-25 from the floor, 5-for-8 from beyond the arc and 8-for-9 from the free-throw line. He also added seven rebounds, nine assists and two steals. His nine assists were a career-high. Fred VanVleet came off the bench to score 21 points in 37 minutes. He shot 7-for-13 from the floor and a blistering 7-for-9 from beyond the arc while adding a rebound an assist and a steal. When VanVleet was on the floor, the Raptors were a +28 in the game.
Underrated Raptors player(s) of the game: Kyle Lowry played 39 minutes in Game 5, finishing with 17 points, seven rebounds, six assists and a steal. Pascal Siakam struggled from the floor on Thursday but still finished with a 14-point, 13-rebound double-double in 36 minutes. Siakam also added two assists, a steal and three blocked shots.
That’s a rap…
“It’s amazing, man. You’re watching a superstar. You have a superstar on your team. It’s amazing what he’s doing. We follow behind him everything he’s doing from on the floor, to off the floor, his leadership, his voice has been amazing for us. He’s really helped us focus on the task at hand. At the timeout, he’s walking back to the bench saying, “Fight through adversity, weather the storm.’ Guys are really locked in.” - Norman Powell on Kawhi Leonard’s leadership and impact
By the #’s…
18… Made three-pointers for the Raptors on 43 attempts (42 percent shooting). In comparison, the Bucks connected on 10 of 31 attempts from deep (32 percent).
10… Offensive rebounds for the Raptors, eight for the Bucks.
19… Points scored by Toronto off 11 Milwaukee turnovers. The Bucks scored seven points off six Raptors turnovers.
35… Bench points for the Raptors, 15 bench points for the Bucks.
They said it…
“It's a great opportunity. You know, like I said, this is what you work out for in the summer is to win basketball games. Same mindset I've been having throughout the playoffs, just come in, have fun, try to execute the best I can and play confident, and whatever happens after that is what happens. I know that I put the work in. I can live with the results because I'm having fun and I'm putting my all out on the floor.” - Kawhi Leonard on his mindset in the postseason
“I think they were throwing bodies at him early. They were sending two or three bodies at him and kind of tilting the floor and making sure guys were loaded on him. He was making the right passes, and we made some shots for him tonight. And then third quarter, he just -- he's been doing it all playoffs. He went into iso and get to your spot, and it was pretty impressive. The game he played tonight, 35, 9 and 7 was a pretty good game. It's a pretty good game on the big stage and on the road. Superstar. Superstar.” - Kyle Lowry on another 35-point performance from teammate Kawhi Leonard
“I think that being tied up 2-2, to have a great opportunity to come in here and try to steal one was on our minds. Obviously being one win away from going home, you just want to take advantage of the opportunity. It would be a very, very long summer thinking about what could have been or what you could have done, and so we've just got to go out there and have no regrets, and I think we did a great job of that tonight laying it all on the line, staying locked in, weathering those runs and being able to bounce back. Like you said, one win away from the Finals sounds pretty good to me. I'll take those chances, and we've got to go out there and try to take advantage of the opportunity.” - Fred VanVleet on staying in the moment and making the most of the opportunity at hand
Up next: The Raptors host the Bucks in Game 6 at Scotiabank Arena on Saturday, May 25 at 8:30 P.M. ET