It was just a sloppy game for us.
That may sound obvious (and truthfully it is) but far too often in dissecting a series we get caught up in who has the most overall talent, who has the better depth, which team has the edge in experience, who has the fresher legs and a number of factors which matter a whole lot more when there is a sizable gap between the two teams taking part in the series.
Gasol hit a 12-foot floater with 0.7 of a second left in overtime, and the Grizzlies beat San Antonio 110-108 in Memphis on Saturday night to even their Western Conference first-round series at 2-2.
Giannis Antetokounmpo couldn’t find the range, shooting 6-19 for 14 points and coughing up 7 turnovers. Khris Middleton dominated the defensive end with team-high 11 rebounds accompanied with 10 points. Will he be able to will the Raptors onto the next round or will the Milwaukee Bucks stop the Raptors in their track?
Atlanta pushed out to a double-digit lead before the game was 3 minutes old and stretched the margin to 38-13 with just under a minute to go in the opening quarter on Schroder’s 3-pointer. He almost put up a triple double, adding on nine rebounds and eight assists in one of the best games of his career.
Fans in Canada must be wishing that one day they can watch a Toronto series with no anxiety and can progress easily. It killed him and motivated him and made him make sure he had a significant impact on Game 4.
Date/Time: Monday, April 24th, 2017.
Elsewhere, the Atlanta Hawks led wire-to-wire en route to a dominating 116-98 victory over Washington, cutting the Wizards lead in the playoff series to 2-1.
The Raptors forced the Bucks into 21 turnovers, the most by the Bucks in a playoff game since 4/18/04 (24). This focused approach secured the win that they needed desperately before the series got back at their home court. This was DeRozan’s ninth 30-point playoff game of his career.
Kyle Lowry added 18 points for Toronto, which shot 41.3 percent and went 5 for 22 from beyond the arc.
Ibaka had a terrible shooting afternoon, but made himself prominent on D with 3 blocked shots and 6 boards. His only problem was at the line, where he was 5 of 9.
“We knew how bad we played in Game 3”, said Raptors guard Kyle Lowry, who added 18 points. Rookie Taurean Prince scored 16 points.
Cory Joseph also had a solid season with 9.3 points and 3.3 assists in average.
Kawhi Leonard seemed more like a robot than ever. Valanciunas contributes with 10.5 points and 7.8 rebounds per contest. If they win and go back home, they did their job. Meanwhile, the Raptors are 0-4 ATS in their last four home games, 2-6 ATS in their last eight games following a win and 8-22-1 ATS in their last 31 Conference Quarterfinals games.
Mike Conley set a franchise postseason record with 35 points, and Gasol finished with 16 points after shooting 5 of 12 for the game. He also had four dimes in the fourth quarter, putting the cap on an incredible night that produced 34 points (10-of-25 shooting), eight assists and two steals. In winning two of the first three games against the favored Toronto Raptors, but Bucks handled the game-to-game challenges in remarkable fashion.
NOTES: Raptors coach Dwane Casey suggested there would be changes after his team lost Game 3 by 27 points and he kept true to his word, inserting F Norm Powell into the starting lineup while moving Jonas Valanciunas to the bench and shifting Serge Ibaka to center. Millsap had 19 double-doubles during the regular season. Their length and athleticism, which has bothered the Raptors all series long, is not going to disappear over the last two to three games.