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Tested again, resilient Raptors rest up for Cavs rematch
October 19 2017, 11:43 | Van Peters
This time, Toronto found a way to win.
Meanwhile, Australian duo Matthew Dellavedova and Thon Maker and their Milwaukee Bucks nearly pulled off a stunning comeback, but the Toronto Raptors survived to score the win and move on to the NBA's Eastern Conference semi-finals.
"Sometimes we get lazy a little lazy", He said. "We've got to do a better job". "That's what good teams do", Toronto head coach Dwane told the Associated Press.
Facing the possibility of incurring a monumental 3-1 deficit by losing Game 4 in Milwaukee, the Raptors knew their season was on the brink when they stepped on the court in Milwaukee for Game 4 last Saturday. Two foul shots from Joseph with 33.9 seconds extended the lead to seven.
The Raptors beat the Milwaukee Bucks, 92-89, in Game 6 of their first round series to advance. But then Tony Snell threw the ball away on the inbounds, ending the series and the Bucks' season.
"We stayed calm. We knew they weren't going to give up", DeRozan said.
Tucker will see a lot of James coming off the bench behind DeMarre Carroll while Ibaka gives them the kind of defender they didn't have a year ago to go at Kevin Love.
Milwaukee wasn't in the mood for co-operating, particularly Giannis Antetokounmpo, who played all but 81 seconds, scoring 34 points and nine rebounds.
A 9-of-18 showing from the foul line in the fourth quarter hurt, too. They cheered at the right times, pressured the referees and provided a legitimate home-court advantage down the stretch."I was extremely exhausted, but I was just motivated by my teammates and the fans, the crowd", Antetokounmpo said afterward. We don't need to over-analyze this. "We just brought it in (for a huddle) after the game".
Kris Middleton scored 19 for Milwaukee and Matthew Dellavedova added 12 and four assists.
"It's not an excuse, but we were emotionally and physically drained from two seven-game series", DeMar DeRozan said looking back to last year's Eastern Conference Final. That stretch started in 2014, when the Raptors lost a first-round series to the Brooklyn Nets, who were then coached by current Bucks coach Jason Kidd.
Furthermore, they were eliminated from the playoffs in the first round in 2014 and 2015 despite high expectations and one of the league's most dynamic backcourts in guards DeMar DeRozan and Kyle Lowry.
The Raptors are getting another shot at the Cavaliers.
Two years later, Milwaukee was thought to be a sleeper after the Bucks finished.500 in Kidd's first season at the helm, but again they faltered the next season and missed the playoffs. Though this is the first postseason for Tucker, he has plenty of experience playing in big games from his time overseas, while Ibaka has made a trip to the Finals and four trips to the Western Conference Finals with the Oklahoma City Thunder. It's human nature. You have to fight against that to calm yourself down and still play the game.
On the series, Giannis averaged 24.8 points, 9.5 rebounds, 4.0 assists, 2.2 steals, and 1.7 blocks in 40.5 minutes per contest, while shooting 53.6% from the field and 40.0% from long range.
Jason Terry drilled a three on the Bucks' next possession to put the Bucks ahead, while the ear-splitting Bradley Center crowd roared.