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The Milwaukee Bucks are looking to grab a 2-0 series lead over the Toronto Raptors on Friday night. The Bucks took a thrilling 108-100 win on Wednesday night to gain a 1-0 lead.
Raptors let Game 1 upset slip through their fingers
Heading into Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals, the Raptors were hoping to carry the momentum of their impressive Game 7 win over the Philadelphia 76ers. However, they stumbled on Wednesday night that in a contest that saw them hold the slight edge through the first three quarters of the game as they held the lead over that span. Things swayed in the Bucks direction as they were outscored 32-17 in the fourth quarter that saw them struggle to put points on the board. In fact, the Raptors had all but one field goal in the period come from All-Star point guard Kyle Lowry. This also included them going scoreless in the final 3:30 in the period missing all eight of their field goal attempts with five of those shots from beyond the arc. On top of that, it featured Kawhi Leonard putting forth a quiet fourth quarter as he had just two points in the period with 29 points coming in the first three quarters of the game. This simply changed the entire flow of the game and erased the encouraging progress that they had put prior to falling flat in the final period.
Kyle Lowry: 30 PTS (10-15 FG, 7-9 3PT) 8 REB, 2 AST
Kyle: 5-7 FG
Rest of Raptors: 0-15
— Ballislife.com (@Ballislife) May 16, 2019
For the game, the Raptors shot 37.0 percent from the floor and 35.7 percent from beyond the arc while being outscored 44 to 26 in the paint. Toronto had the chance to steal Game 1, but just simply struggled to close out the deal. Although Leonard had a quiet fourth quarter, it’s clear that he will be the focal point for the Raptors’ offensive attack as he did manage to post 31 points in the contest. Lowry was also a major factor as he had 30 points on an efficient 10-of-15 shooting from the floor and 7-of-9 from 3-point range. The production from the Lowry and Leonard was nearly enough to lift the Raptors over the top, but this is clear it will need more than just that offset the balanced scoring from Milwaukee. Leonard should continue to record strong offensive performances as it will come down to the supporting cast around him stepping up with solid outings if there is any hope to even up the series before it shifts to the Scotiabank Arena.
Bucks fueled by balanced offensive attack in Game 1
The Bucks stepped up to the plate in Game 1 moving a step closer to the NBA Finals by edging out the Raptors in encouraging fashion. Milwaukee trailed throughout much of the contest but turned on the jets in the fourth quarter outscoring Toronto by double digits with them putting their stamp on it late in the final period finishing the last 3:30 on a 10-o run. All-Star forward Giannis Antetokounmpo had his usual strong outing as he posted 24 points, 14 rebounds, six assists, three blocks, and two steals. This marked his fifth game in the playoffs with at least 20 points and 10 rebounds. Antetokounmpo was a major factor in the paint as he went 6-of-11 from that part of the floor that proved to cause plenty of issues for the Raptors. His production will be their launching point as he is a matchup problem with his size and length that has fueled the Bucks to earn their first conference finals win in nearly 18 years. However, it wasn’t his production that was the difference in the contest as veteran big man Brook Lopez stepped up to the plate with a double-double led by a career-high 29 points and 11 rebounds while hitting four 3-pointers and garnering four blocks.
— Milwaukee Bucks (@Bucks) May 16, 2019
Lopez’s production was huge in helping the Bucks erase a deficit in the fourth quarter. This also made him just the fourth player to record at least 24 points, 10 rebounds, four made 3-pointers, and four blocks in a playoff game joining the likes of Kobe Bryant, Dirk Nowitzki, and Kevin Durant. His ability to stretch the floor with his shooting has provided Milwaukee with another element this season as his production has brought forth even more depth and made Milwaukee extremely difficult to defend against. Lopez may not have this type of production moving forward in this series, but it does at least show that he can be a major impact player on both ends of the floor. Antetokounmpo will have his fingerprints on the game as Milwaukee’s depth behind him is what may continue to separate them against Toronto. This helped them overcome a slow start to the game and fueled their strong showing in the fourth quarter. With Game 1 under their belt, this sets up the chance for them to truly take control of the series on Friday night with another balanced effort.
- Bucks are 4-0 ATS in their last four contests after allowing 100 points or more in their previous game.
- Bucks are 5-0 ATS in their last five Friday games.
- Bucks are 4-0 ATS in their last four games following a straight up win.
- Raptors are 2-5 ATS in their last seven games overall.
- Raptors are 2-5 ATS in their last seven against an Eastern Conference opponent
- Raptors are 1-4 ATS in their last five road games against a team with a home winning % of greater than .600.
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
The Bucks may have had a slow start out of the gate in Game 1. Things should be a bit different in Game 2 with them getting a feel of things against the Raptors. It will be a close contest throughout but Milwaukee’s balanced attack will push them over the top. Keep in mind, the Raptors are 1-5 ATS in the last six meetings against the Bucks.
Prediction: Milwaukee -6.5
Full-Game Total Pick
Although both of these teams hold two of the most potent offenses in the league, the impact their respective defenses will continue to make this is a lower scoring affair. It will be another contest is quite similar to how Game 1 played out with the offenses. The under is also 7-3 in the last 10 meetings in Milwaukee.
Prediction: Under 216