Giannis Antetokounmpo scores 34 points as Bucks are eliminated from playoffs

Ross Houston
May 6, 2017

The Toronto Raptors are headed to the Eastern Conference semifinals. While the Raptors defeated the Bucks 4-2, the Cavaliers swept the Indiana Pacers in the first round and have been waiting for their next opponent. Each of the three previous series wins in Raptors franchise history had gone the distance.

It's hard to make too much of anything from the season series between these two teams.

Midway through the fourth quarter last night, it looked as if the Bucks might pull off a nifty comeback and force a Game 7 after being down by double digits for much of the second half.

After a Jason Terry 3-pointer put the Bucks up 80-78 - their first lead since the first quarter - with 3:06 left, it seemed like their night, and the Raptors, astonished and tired, appeared to be beaten. The Bucks improved heavily this season compared to their last, and there is no reason to believe the improvement will cease next year.

The "More Life" artist recently posed for a photo with Jazz legend Karl Malone on Thursday night.

When the Raptors hit a flurry of long balls early in Q3, their lead looked unassailable.

P.J. Tucker made that clear for anyone willing to listen. The pair of veterans immediately upgraded Toronto's defence, while also bringing toughness to the roster.

Elsewhere, DeMar DeRozan delivered 32 points as the Toronto Raptors rebounded after blowing a 25-point second half lead to defeat the Milwaukee Bucks 92-89 to reach the second round. He has an excellent mentor in head coach Jason Kidd, who traveled a similar path to success as an oversized player at his position with an uncanny ability to do it all on both ends of the floor.

The Toronto Raptors have advanced to the second round of the NBA's playoffs. Of course, betting against Powell seems unwise. Add in the rest of Cleveland's scorers and that dream becomes an entire dreamland. With that, the Raptors survived what would've been their worst loss of the season.

And now as they prepare for the Cleveland Cavaliers it will be the lesson the Raptors take out of this series. He excelled as the screener on the pick-and-roll with DeMar DeRozan. There are still 12 games remaining on the penalty that he will have to serve next season when healthy.

Toronto lost to IN and Miami past year IN Game 6 before rallying to win Game 7. The Spurs outrebounded the Grizzlies 46-28, including 16 offensive rebounds that helped lead to 17 second-chance points.

"We lost our composure a little bit", coach Dwane Casey said. While this is largely true, the backcourt received a boost from teammates in their first-round series against the Bucks. He shorted four free throws in the crucial stretch of his team's rally, looking clearly gassed after playing all but 1:21 of the game's 48 minutes. Indeed, James is the only reasonable comparison point when it comes to breaking down a defense and then finishing efficiently.

They did survive and will open Game 1 of their Eastern Conference semifinal Monday night in Cleveland against the defending National Basketball Association champs. DeMarre Carroll has had another disappointing season. Casey and his players believe they're better prepared for the hostile environment that awaits them. This was Conley's fifth straight game with 20 points or more.

The Bucks were out of timeouts and their inbound pass was stolen, which is how the game ended. The Raptors clinched the best-of-seven series 4-2 to advance to the conference semis which begin Monday in Cleveland.

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