SportsPulse: USA TODAY Sports activities’ Jeff Zillgitt breaks down the Japanese Convention finals between the Bucks and Raptors and the matchup of stars Giannis Antetokounmpo and Kawhi Leonard.

MILWAUKEE — The Milwaukee Bucks have lived by the manta “Let it fly” all season. Maintain capturing. Don’t get discouraged by misses.

That mentality paid off in Recreation 1 of the Japanese Convention finals because the Bucks shook off some early chilly capturing to warmth up within the fourth quarter and take a 108-100 victory over the Toronto Raptors on Wednesday.

Brook Lopez poured in 29 factors to steer the Bucks, together with essential baskets within the fourth quarter. Milwaukee famous person Giannis Antetokounmpo added 24 factors, 14 rebounds and 6 assists.

The Bucks had been robust within the opening minutes, racing out to an Eight-Three lead behind six factors from Antetokounmpo, together with a breakaway dunk.

However the Raptors answered by scoring 16 unanswered factors, keyed by scorching capturing from Three-point vary.

The Bucks had been ice chilly from lengthy distance, lacking their first six Three-pointers earlier than Antetokounmpo nailed one from the highest of the important thing to chop the deficit to 19-13.

Milwaukee received inside 9 factors earlier than Serge Ibaka nailed a mid-range jumper on the buzzer to present Toronto a 34-23 lead after the primary quarter.

The Raptors confirmed they had been content material to launch a bevy of Three-pointers — 13 of their 25 photographs within the opening quarter got here from behind the arc.

Toronto made six Three-pointers within the opening 12 minutes, whereas the Bucks had been simply Three-for-15 from lengthy distance.

The Raptors saved bombing away from deep within the second quarter, however cooled off significantly.

Lopez, nevertheless, heated up halfway via the second quarter. After beginning 2-for-5, he made three straight photographs. Milwaukee minimize Toronto’s result in 42-37 on Lopez’s first Three-pointer of the sport.


The Bucks received inside 50-47 on a dunk by Antetokounmpo with 2:19 remaining within the first half. The Raptors quelled the run and took a 59-51 lead into the locker room.

Raptors star Kawhi Leonard led all scorers within the first half with 15 factors. He completed with 31.

Antetokounmpo had 13 within the first half and Lopez added 12, together with eight within the second quarter. Bucks guard Malcolm Brogdon, in his second sport again since getting back from a plantar fascia tear in his proper foot, chipped in 11 factors within the first half in 12 minutes off the bench.

Bucks guard Eric Bledsoe got here alive early within the third quarter. He had a horrible first half, lacking his solely two photographs and solely handing out one help.

However he began attacking the rim to get going after halftime. He received his first basket two minutes into the second half. Then he corralled a free ball for a steal and hit a troublesome reverse layup that received the Bucks inside 61-59 and prompted a timeout by the Raptors.

After two free throws by Lowry, Bledsoe answered with a three-point play after getting fouled whereas banking in a nifty over-the-head shot.

The Bucks might have taken the lead, however Antetokounmpo missed two free throws and the Raptors reeled off a 9-Zero run to take a 72-62 lead.


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Milwaukee continued to wrestle with its deep capturing, lacking all 11 Three-point makes an attempt within the third quarter. However the Bucks stayed shut due to their attacking mentality

Milwaukee was 11-for-14 on free throws within the third quarter after simply 4 makes an attempt from the charity stripe within the first half. Antetokoumpo didn’t register a field-goal try within the quarter, however went Eight-for-10 on free throws.

The Bucks appeared in fine condition when Lopez tapped in a rebound with 5 seconds left within the quarter to get the Bucks inside 80-76. However the Raptors’ Pascal Siakim nailed a Three-pointer over the outstretched arm of Antetokoumpo simply earlier than the third-quarter buzzer.

Lopez ended the Bucks’ Three-point drought to open the scoring within the fourth quarter. He added one other one two possessions later, then Nikola Mirotic was fouled after an offensive rebound. Mirotic made each free throws to present the Bucks the lead at 84-83.

The groups traded baskets for a couple of minutes, then the Bucks continued to warmth up from deep. Khris Middleton hit a Three to place Milwaukee up 91-88. Then Mirotic hit a shot from deep for a 94-91 lead. Each Middleton and Mirotic had been Zero-for-5 on Three-pointers earlier than hitting these photographs.

The Bucks took the lead for good at 101-100 when Lopez dunked after a steal by Middleton with 2:20 remaining. On the Bucks’ subsequent journey down the court docket, Lopez nailed a Three.

Lopez shook his capturing hand prefer it was scorching, a celebration he has been doing all season.

Identical to he has been letting it fly all season.

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel is a part of the USA TODAY Community.


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