Toronto Raptors guard Kyle Lowry (7) drives for the basket against Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo (34) in the second quarter in game three of the first round of the 2017 NBA Playoffs at BMO Harris Bradley Center.
It was ugly from the start. Milwaukee aims to take a 3-1 series lead over visiting Toronto on Saturday after steamrolling the Raptors 104-77 in Game 3.
“We’re much better when our backs are against the wall”, he said. They consistently snuffed out Bucks comeback attempts and never surrendered the precarious lead they built in Q3. Toronto, meanwhile, made only 24-of-71 filed goals (33.8 percent) and 6-of-22 from 3-point distance (27.3 percent). When Matthew Dellavedova splashed in a three-pointer to make it 39-15 with 9:20 left in the first half, Casey burned his third timeout of the game.
Greg Monroe added 14 points and nine rebounds and Khris Middleton ended with 10 points and 11 boards for the Bucks, who were 5-for-21 from 3-point range.
While Toronto’s star guards produced in the clutch, the defense threw up roadblocks after the Bucks ran roughshod all over the court Thursday night. “Hopefully they can show some love and be loud in Game 4”.
“We’ve got to act like if we’re down”, Kidd said.
Milwaukee can take solace in the fact it was able to remain competitive deep into the fourth quarter despite an off night from Antetokounmpo.
The antics go along with the Bucks’ hilarious move during the Raptors introductions before Game 3, as they taunted Toronto’s players by playing the “Barney” theme song as their names were announced.
The Milwaukee Bucks (42-40) got the Raptors as their First Round opponents after finishing the regular season schedule ranked sixth in the East. They seemed to feed off their home-crowd energy.
“I thought he was looking to try to pick the team up”, Kidd said. It is a high-risk, high-reward style that can spark their transition offence should they cause a turnover or a forced shot.
Before Thursday’s Game 3 in Milwaukee, Bucks staffers chose to play the theme music for the popular former children’s television show “Barney & Friends.” featuring Barney the Dinosaur as it’s loveable hero.
The Bucks score 103.2 (101.1 away) and allow 103.1 (103.6 away) points per game.
“Sometimes it gets to me”.
They won’t have much time to regroup.
“It’s an age-old thing – multiple efforts”, Casey said. They looked completely out of sorts, unable to make a shot or a pass – DeRozan uncharacteristically fired a pass to nobody that was caught by a fan.
For a young team like the Milwaukee Bucks that is still finding its way, coping with the mental highs and lows of a best-of-seven series is a learning experience.
“I was just going quick, being aggressive, not waiting on the doubles”, DeRozan said.
“This is a great game (Saturday’s Game 4) for our group to understand we’ve got to stay in character and keep moving the ball”. And so far, that is the spirit of the series for the Bucks.
All the pre-game talk was about matching the Bucks’ intensity, but the Raptors did exactly the opposite, digging themselves a first-half hole the size of Wisconsin.
On the other end of the floor, the main priority for the Raptors was shutting down Giannis Antetokounmpo in transition.