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27 April 2017, 04:05 | Charlene Valdez
Dellavedova, Maker help Bucks beat Raptors
They're headed back to Canada after winning a bruiser of a first-round playoff game on Saturday over the Milwaukee Bucks.
Matthew Dellavedova delivered a trademark gritty performance to help the Milwaukee Bucks to a stunning game three win over Toronto in the National Basketball Association play-offs. In the last encounter on Friday, Raptors managed to limit the Bucks on only 76 points and forced them to make season-high 21 turnovers.
"It's big, this is why you play for home-court advantage", DeRozan said. This first round matchup was back-and-forth as the Raptors would barely pull through and win the series in seven games.
Stephen Curry led the way with 34 points and fellow Warriors sharpshooter Klay Thompson had 24 while CJ McCollum (32) and Damian Lillard (31) top-scored for the outgunned Trailblazers. Greg Monroe continued his stellar play, but Matthew Dellavedova, a non-factor in Game 2, left his mark all over Game 3.
Playing defense with as much clutching and grabbing at the referees would allow, the Raptors frustrated the Bucks, who had no answer for the playoff-level intensity of their opponent. In the second half, he was 0-for-7 from the field and committed three turnovers. Despite that performance, Milwaukee coach Jason Kidd expects Toronto to bounce back. When Powell drilled a three-pointer with four minutes left, it gave Toronto a 10-point lead and prompted a "Let's go Raptors!" cheer from one section of the arena. He didn't get a point until he made two free throws midway through the second quarter.
"We had no other option", he said. "So when you don't take care of the ball, you don't execute at the offensive end and they've got one guy that's going and going and scoring, it's not going to be a game you're going to win".
The Bucks brought the series back to Milwaukee tied at 1-1.
Norman Powell started in place of Valanciunas, a switch that Toronto announced about 15 minutes before tipoff.
DeMar DeRozan was not going to be shut out again. The 6-foot-4 Powell offered more quickness to counter the athletic Bucks.
"Coach is going to make his decision and ultimately we have to go with his decision", Lowry said.
Centre Marc Gasol clinched victory for the Grizzlies, hitting the game victor with 0.7 seconds to go in the first period of extra time.
"Now we have to keep our composure for two days", DeRozan said.
Added DeRozan: "We're going to have to play extremely hard".
Kyle Lowry contributed 18 points - 14 of them in the second half.
You should feel good about yourselves, whether you are a member of the Raptors or even a fan of the team.
Following its embarrassing defeat, 104-77, on Thursday night, Toronto unsurprisingly made adjustments, including lineup changes and a different gameplan, and saw its talented backcourt return to All-Star level. The Bucks had 13 first-half turnovers.
The Raptors lost the vast majority of the physical battles in Game 3, but in Game 4, looking squarely at a potential 3-1 deficit, they turned their game up by several notches, matching - and surpassing - the Bucks' physicality. We weren't in fifth gear; we were more in third gear, and we needed to be in fifth gear this afternoon.
Raptors: Toronto trailed 57-30 at the half, tying the team's regular-season low for scoring in a half. Wright drained a three-pointer two seconds before the break, and the Raptors trudged into halftime down 57-30 - just four points shy of their biggest halftime deficit in playoff history (31 points a year ago in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference finals against Cleveland).
The Hawks were never seriously challenged by the Wizards, who were essentially a one-man team.
In the Game 1, the Raptors DeRozan has scored 27 points as a game-high.
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