Tested again, resilient Raptors rest up for Cavs rematch

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 of the National Basketball Association playoffs.

Before they knew it, the Raptors went from trailing the Bucks 2-1, to having the 3-2 stronghold of the series heading into Game 6. "'Whaddya gonna do?' I think when he has those kinds of games, just bring it in, there's nothing you can do".

"Sometimes we make it hard on ourselves, but we're going to go down swinging".

Antetokounmpo, though, showed his youth a little and rather than take the potential game-tying three drove to the basket for an uncontested layup.

Jason Terry's three-pointer with 3:06 left gave the Bucks an 80-78 lead, completing an unlikely comeback from the 25-point deficit with 5:16 left in the third quarter. Toronto suddenly looked slow, indecisive and disconnected, and it came close to a devastating collapse.

"We've got to learn from it, that's the most important thing, knowing how hard it is to win on the road", he said.

DeRozan would finish with a Raptors high 32 points, two shy of Antetokounmpo's game high.

Game Three against the Milwaukee Bucks was a wake-up call for the Toronto Raptors. "So it's great to be able to go our bench and have a guy like P.J. Tucker. pretty sure we are going to use that weapon".

"They're too good, he's too good to say 'OK, LeBron you get your 30 or 40 and we'll shut everyone else out.'" Casey said.

More importantly, Antetokounmpo led the Bucks to the playoffs by leading his team in points, rebounds, assists, blocks, and steals per game.

While the Raptors shot a typically excellent 19-for-23 (82.6%) from the charity stripe, the Bucks struggled there, going 18-for-28 (64.3%) and leaving a lot of crucial points at the line. From the three-minute mark of the first through the three-minute mark of the third quarter, the momentum was squarely on Toronto's side.

Toronto beat the Milwaukee Bucks 92-89 in Game 6 of their Eastern Conference quarter-final.

"We know what we're facing", Casey said. We saw Antetokounmpo at that point Thursday, though he did his best to prove he's nearly not human, and it was genuinely inspiring.

Since he was inserted into the starting lineup, Powell has made all nine of the three-pointers he attempted. Toronto was lucky; the Greek Freak took 8 foul shots, but could convert only 3. Even Antetokounmpo, a gym rat, looked exhausted with his hands on hips as he caught his breath during fourth-quarter breaks.

"We made a run and gave ourselves an opportunity", Kidd said, "We fought". There will be much discussion about coach Jason Kidd's decision to only rest Antetokounmpo for 81 seconds, which surely contributed to the free throw trouble. "That's what we need to do".

NOTES: The Bucks have lost eight consecutive playoff series and haven't advanced past the first round in their last seven trips to the postseason. Each of the three previous series wins in Raptors franchise history had gone the distance.

The Toronto Raptors needed every second of Game 6 to nail down a victory, and are off to the next playoff round. Malcolm Brogdon came up big throughout the season, being yet another impressive rookie added to the list of successful recruits from Milwaukee's management.