Published: Fri, April 28, 2017
Sport | By Desiree Waters

NBA Today | Raptors and Spurs try to close out on the road

NBA Today | Raptors and Spurs try to close out on the road

So for Milwaukee to dominate two out of three games in a series against a veteran Toronto team shows potential for the future. The Bucks are back in the postseason following a awful 33 win season previous year.

These Raptors may not be Cleveland battled-hardened but they have taken their knocks in the past and the combination of a hostile environment and a quick-starting opponent no longer phases them. Giannis Antetokounmpo is averaging 23 points and 9.6 rebounds while Greg Monroe is averaging 14.6 points and 7.4 rebounds.

San Antonio should feel more confident in Game 6 after getting star small forward Kawhi Leonard some scoring support off the bench in Game 5 from Patty Mills and Manu Ginobili, who combined for 30 points on 11-of-16 shooting. For the Bucks to force a game 7, they will need great shooting performances from wings Kris Middleton and Tony Snell. They looked like the team that had the embarrassing 27-point loss in Game 3. The Raptors finished in second place in the Atlantic Division; just two games behind Boston.

In contrast, the Raptors have been through about every conceivable playoff situation after losing to Cleveland in the Eastern Conference finals last season. They held the Cavs to less than 108 points per game in their four match ups, and the Cavs averaged over 110. The Cavaliers did play this upgraded Raptors team once in April, and they scored only 83 points.

"We're still fixing some little things but we're ready and we're going there to win", said the seven-foot Lithuanian. But, the Raptors have won two in a row, and seem to be able to find a way to win this game on the road.

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Malcolm Brogdon ranks first among National Basketball Association rookies this postseason in minutes played with 32.1 MPG and assists with 4.0 APG.

Trailing in a playoff series was nothing new for Toronto, however, who has lost their last nine Game 1 matchups in playoff series dating back to 2001. This is a franchise that is heading the right way. The 24-year-old dressed in 27 more games in 2016-17 and his minutes correspondingly doubled from 725 in his rookie season to 1368 this past regular season.

The move paid immediate dividends in Games 4 and 5 - Powell shot 61.1 per cent from the field, was flawless on seven three-point attempts, averaged four rebounds and four assists and set the tone defensively.

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