The Milwaukee Bucks have yet to lose back-to-back games in this postseason and try to avoid that fate on Tuesday when they visit the Toronto Raptors in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Finals. The Bucks are 2.5-point favorites. They are also -650 on the series line with the Raptors at +425.
Odds courtesy of OddsShark.com
Toronto took Game 3 at home in double overtime Sunday, 118-112. Kawhi Leonard continued his brilliance in this postseason with 36 points, eight in the second OT. He played 52 minutes, a career high, and added nine rebounds and five assists despite a leg injury. Leonard has 10 games of at least 30 points through his team’s first 15 playoff games. That’s tied for the third most in the past 20 seasons. LeBron James had 11 of them in 2017 and Amare Stoudemire 11 in 2005.
Pascal Siakam had 25 points and 11 rebounds Sunday. Marc Gasol broke out with 16 points, 12 rebounds, seven assists and five blocks. Gasol played so well that fellow big man Serge Ibaka was limited to 14 minutes off the bench. It has been the bench where the Raptors have been dominated, but Norman Powell came up big in Game 4 among the reserves with 19 points. The Raptors improved to 4-1 in the playoffs when Powell contributes 13 or more points.
Toronto has won three straight home playoff games, two shy of the franchise record. The Raptors also are 3-0 in the 2019 playoffs when playing on a Tuesday night.
It was only Milwaukee’s second loss in these playoffs. The Bucks were routed in Game 1 of the conference semifinals at home by Boston but then won the next four. Following a loss this season, the Bucks are an amazing 21-1 and have won those games by an average of 15.2 points.
Giannis Antetokounmpo is an incredible talent and likely will win regular-season MVP honors, but he was largely stymied by Leonard’s defense in Game 3. The Greek Freak was held to just 12 points on 5-for-16 shooting while turning it over eight times. When Antetokounmpo was guarded solely by Leonard, he shot 1-for-9 for two points, his worst showing against any single defender over the past three postseasons. The Freak did have 23 rebounds.
The Bucks shot only 37.3 percent overall and missed 11 free throws. Not often a team will lose when two bench players score at least 20 points but that was the case Sunday for Milwaukee. George Hill had 24 points and Malcolm Brogdon 20.