Kyle Lowry bounces back in Game 2, helps Toronto Raptors even series with Milwaukee Bucks
TORONTO – The Milwaukee Bucks are a problem. And though the Toronto Raptors evened their first-round series at one game apiece with a 106-100 victory on Tuesday, they’re still a long way from finding the solution.
The Raptors played much better in Game 2. For 24 minutes, they moved the ball like they were they were the Golden State Warriors instead of the Toronto Raptors. DeMar DeRozan was quick to get rid of it when the Bucks sent a second defender on pick-and-rolls and the ball zipped around until it found the open man as the Toronto offense clicked to the tune of 55 points on 45 possessions before halftime.
“[It was] understanding how they’re attacking me defensively, trying to put ‘em in rotation,” DeRozan said. “They’re sending two guys at me every time I come off the screen. Try to get off it quick, trust my teammates to make the next play. We did a great job of doing that tonight.”
The Raptors, who assisted on just 47 percent of their baskets in the regular season, had 24 assists on 37 field goals. After going without a secondary (“hockey”) assist in Game 1, they had 10 in Game 2. Kyle Lowry recovered from a brutal Game 1 to score 22 points on 12 shots, the ball movement produced better looks, and the Raptors made 14 of their 29 3-point attempts, with 13 of the 14 being assisted.
The Raptors also defended better. They got back in transition and blocked off the paint to make things much tougher on Giannis Antetokounmpo. He took 14 of his 24 shots in the paint, but made just five of the 14. The Bucks shot 2-for-12 at the rim with Serge Ibaka there to protect it.
“[There were] more bodies in the paint,” Antetokounmpo said. “Whenever I drove the ball into the paint, they were packing and being more physical.”
The Raptors were the more desperate team and played with…