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April 15th, 2017

Bucks Take Game One Handily in Toronto Behind Giannis Antetokounmpo

Caleb Cottrell @Caleb_Cottrell
Milwaukee Bucks

Giannis Antetokounmpo (Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images North America)

In the first game of the Milwaukee Bucks vs Toronto Raptors series, the third-seeded Raptors could not handle business on their home court against the sixth-seeded Bucks, losing the game 97-83.

In what was a back and forth first half, the Bucks were able to control the first quarter thanks in part to Giannis Antetokounmpo and Greg Monroe. The 22-year-old out of Greece was able to put up seven points and three assists, while Monroe came off the bench to drop six points and three rebounds of his own. DeMar DeRozan helped keep the Raptors afloat with 10 points, but the Bucks were able to take an early eight-point lead heading into the second quarter.

Unlike the first, the Raptors were able to take control. Two and-ones, a three, and the Bucks first turnover of the game led to just a one point lead for the team out of Milwaukee after just three minutes of playing time in the quarter. Five minutes in, Toronto took back the lead with two free throws from DeRozan. Both sides were clicking for the Raptors as they won the second quarter 29-16 and took a five-point lead into halftime.

The second half of the game was much different than the first. The Milwaukee Bucks went on a 12-4 run in the first four minutes of the half, giving them a three-point lead. Thon Maker, the rookie out of South Sudan was a difference maker for the Bucks on defense. The rookie had a couple of big blocks inside that helped change the tide for the Bucks. The Raptors really struggled to make a shot in the quarter, but free throws kept them alive. After the first half, Toronto was shooting 50 percent from the field, but it went down to 39.7 after an abysmal shooting quarter. Milwaukee was able to go into the final quarter up 75-70.

Antetokounmpo, Monroe, and the rest of the Bucks continued to push the pedal to the metal in the fourth quarter. Kris Middleton, who had struggled all game, hit a couple of tough shots to give the Bucks a 14 point lead with eight minutes left, and the lead would not be relinquished. Milwaukee would continue to play stout defense and won by a score of 97-83.

Antetokounmpo poured in 28 points on 13-18 shooting and added eight rebounds, three assists, two steals and one block. Monroe, in 25 minutes off of the bench, scored 14 points and grabbed 15 rebounds. Maker ended with four points, three rebounds, one steal, and three blocks in 15 minutes. Malcolm Brogdon, Maker’s fellow rookie, dropped 16 points and six rebounds.

The Raptors star duo of Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan failed to live up to their star status in this one. DeRozan scored 27 points but did it on 7-21 from the field. Lowry, who just recently returned from injury, only scored four points on 2-11 from the field. Serge Ibaka was the only other player to score in double digits with 19 points, and he added in 14 rebounds and three blocks.

The Raptors ended the game shooting a measly 36 percent from the field, 21.7 percent from downtown, and 72.7 percent from the free throw line on 33 attempts.

The Milwaukee Bucks will look to steal another game in Toronto on Tuesday, April 18 at 7 pm.

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