120-102. The Raptors easily beat the Bucks without needing Leonard

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120-102. The Raptors easily beat the Bucks without needing Leonard Kawhi Leonard (i) of Toronto Raptors in action against Khris Middleton (d) of Milwaukee Bucks, during the fourth game for the Eastern Conference Finals of the NBA, between the Toronto Raptors and Milwaukee Bucks, on Tuesday, at the Scotiabank Arena from Toronto (Canada). EFE

Pressing, counts the download Toronto (Canada), May 21 (EFE) .- The Toronto Raptors won the fourth game of the Eastern Conference final against the Milwaukee Bucks by 120-102 and tied the series at 2-2 showing that they can win without their star, Kawhi Leonard, being on the track.

Leonard, who has scored more than thirty points in all his playoff games, finished with a discrete 19 points in 34 minutes. This time, the architect of the Raptors victory was Kyle Lowry, who scored 25 points, Norman Powell, with 18, and the Spaniards Marc Gasol and Serge Ibaka.

Gasol scored 17 points and collected five rebounds in addition to providing seven assists. Ibaka also collected 17 points but took 13 rebounds, allowing the Raptors to dominate the boards for the first time in the final.

And the Canadian public recognized the work of the two top men of the team: when they retired from the field with three minutes to go until the end of the match, both were fired by the applause of a standing audience.

The Toronto Raptors, the team of Marc Gasol, Serge Ibaka and Sergio Scariolo, had to win the fourth game of the Eastern Conference final against the Milwaukee Bucks of Pau Gasol and Nikola Mirotic to tie the series and keep their options intact.

The ragged victory of the Raptors in the third game and the performance of Leonard, raised doubts about whether the team was suffering physical and psychological fatigue greater than its rival. Not in vain, until today the Bucks had played 12 games in the playoffs while the Raptors had 15.

And in Sunday’s game, Leonard was forced to play 52 minutes, more than any other player on the court, and with discomfort in one leg. Two other key players of the Raptors, Pascal Siakam and Gasol, accumulated 51 and 45 minutes in that same game.

Opposite, Giannis Antetokounmpo, the “Greek freak”, the undisputed star of the Bucks, “only” played 44 minutes, the same as Khris Middleton.

The game did not start well for the Raptors. Gasol missed his first shot, a triple, as well as his second shot while Siakam lost two balls. On the other hand, the Bucks put everything: triple of Mirotic, three baskets of Antetokounmpo and another triple of Lopez.

In three minutes the score was 5-12 and Nick Nurse, the Raptors coach, was forced to ask for his first timeout to stop the bleeding. The dead time worked. Nothing else to return to the track, Gasol robbed a ball to Lopez and shortly after the Spanish pívot marked his first basket with a triple.

And although Leonard was unknown, Kyle Lowry took the baton scoring: 12 points including two triples. The effort of Gasol and Lowry allowed the Raptors to tie the match at 17-17 and maintain the alternation on the scoreboard until in the last seconds of the first quarter in which the Toronto team took the lead with 32-31.

In the Bucks, the quality of Antetokounmpo, who scored 11 points and collected five rebounds, and the two triples of Lopez, kept the Milwaukee afloat.

The second quarter began with another tonic. Those from Toronto took to the track with gusto, led by Ibaka. The power forward opened the scoring of the quarter and in two minutes the Raptors endorsed the Bucks a 9-0.

The lace was the hanging of Ibaka’s hoop to pick up a rebound in attack that caused a thunderous howl of approval in the Canadian public.

Ibaka’s basket placed the Raptors 10 points ahead of the Bucks, a distance that the Toronto team was able to maintain when the players went to the locker room at halftime.

With a 65-66 on the scoreboard, Lowry remained as the Canadian hero with 18 points followed by a magnificent Ibaka with 12 points and 9 rebounds and Norman Powell with 10 points.

On the side of the Bucks, Antetokounmpo went to the locker room stagnant in 14 points (only 3 in the second quarter). Khris Middleton was the best scorer of his team, with 16, and Mirotic was the third with 8 points.

In the third quarter, Leonard came into play thanks in part to some great assists from Gasol. The tandem Leonard-Gasol also worked in defense, with the Spanish pivot again and again supporting Leonard in his defense to Giannis.

And when Gasol was not on track, Ibaka took over, both in attack and defense. Thus, when the end of the quarter approached, the Raptors reached their biggest difference, 15 points, with a 91-76.

Although at the end of the third quarter, the distance was reduced slightly, the scoreboard was 94-81, the Raptors were on track to achieve their second consecutive victory and tie the series.

The last quarter had no greater glory. The Raptors maintained the same tone while the Bucks recognized the superiority at home of the Canadians to give up with a final 120-102 in which Antetokounmpo contributed with 25 points and 10 rebounds. Nikola Mirotic finished with 11 points and 1 rebound.

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