Toronto Raptors vs. Milwaukee Bucks Preview
Where: BMO Harris Bradley Center – Milwaukee, Wisconsin
When: Thursday, April 20, 2017, 8:00 PM ET
TV Broadcast: NBA TV
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Betting on the Toronto Raptors (EVEN)
It wasn’t convincing, but the Toronto Raptors managed to salvage a split against the Milwaukee Bucks in the first two games of their first round series. After a rough shooting night in Game 1, the Raptors’ All-Star backcourt of Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan came back strong as they combined for 45 points on 15-of-30 shooting to lead the Raps to a 106-100 win.
Serge Ibaka bounced back from a rough first half to finish with 16 points, 7 rebounds, 6 assists, and 2 blocks. Meanwhile, Patrick Patterson and Corey Joseph combined for 19 points off the bench. Those three accounted for nine 3-pointers as the Raps as a team went 14-of-29 (48 percent) from beyond the arc in Game 2.
The fact that Lowry and DeRozan got back on track was crucial for the Raps. Toronto goes where they go, especially on the offensive end, and they need to come up with big games once again to claim Game 3 on the road.
The Raptors are an impressive 6-1 (5-2 ATS) in their last seven visits to Milwaukee. The one game they lost came back in March, which was without the injured Lowry.
Betting on the Milwaukee Bucks (-120)
The Bucks may have lost Game 2, but their first two games in Toronto should be considered a massive success. They claimed a crucial split heading back home, and continued to give the Raptors defense a lot of problems.
Giannis Antetokounmpo was outstanding once again with 24 points, 15 rebounds, and 7 assists. Greg Monroe had another stellar game with 18 points off the bench, and Khris Middleton bounced back from his 4-of-15 shooting performance in Game 1 to post 20 points in Game 2.
The Greek Freak didn’t have the greatest shooting game – he went just 9-of-24 – but he used his uncanny length to grab six offensive boards against the Raptors. Toronto just doesn’t seem to have the tools to completely keep Giannis down, which has been a big reason why the Bucks have gone 2-0 against the spread in the first two games of the series.
The Bucks defense didn’t play quite as impressively in Game 2, but perhaps the energy of their home crowd will fuel another outstanding defensive showing in Game 3.
The Bucks (-1.5) regain the series lead with a 96-93 home win.
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