Playoff berth gives rest of NBA glimpse into Bucks' future


After a pair of thrilling games in Toronto, the Milwaukee Bucks return home tonight for Game 3 of their first-round Eastern Conference playoff series with the Raptors.

Milwaukee torched Toronto out of the gates, outscoring them 32-12 in the first quarter and taking a 27-point lead into halftime.

Kyle Lowry had 13 points on 4-of-10 shooting, while DeMar DeRozan had eight points - all free throws - as he was held without a field goal on 0-of-8 shooting.

Milwaukee's core, meanwhile, was on fire.

Khris Middleton and Giannis Antetokounmpo were as solid as always, but the bench contributions of Greg Monroe, Michael Beasley, and Matthew Dellavedova were also incredibly important.

Antetokounmpo had 19 points, eight rebounds, four assists and two blocks. His counterpart, Bucks rookie Malcolm Brogden, looked much more like the veteran player of the two.

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Here is the viewing information for Thursday's Game 3 between the Bucks and Raptors.

For those who are Milwaukee sports fans - or just otherwise dislike big-city Toronto for any reason at all - it was an entertaining in-your-face evening of sports. Unlike the other two high seeds Cleveland and Toronto, San Antonio has covered both of the first two games against Memphis, winning them by an average of 21.5 points. The Raptors couldn't buy a basket in the opening frame, shooting 4-for-18 and 0-for-6 from three-point range. All around them are more young faces, and while this team isn't near their final form, they have time to develop into that. The Raptors used their fouls wisely, keeping the Bucks away from the penalty line for the most part, and limited their rivals to just 41.4 percent from the field. Coach Casey tinkered with the rotations, starting Carroll and playing Ibaka, Tucker and Patterson together to close the game, also inserting Delon Wright for a good stretch in the first half. "We were back on our heels and we never got back into the game".

Milwaukee didn't have this defense during the regular season, not for three games like we've seen in this series. "We made changes going into the second half". The Bucks have lost their last seven playoff series overall.

"The coaches will give you the game plan but it's your job to watch the film, understand what they're doing to you on both ends of the floor and then come out and play motivated and encouraged knowing that you've had success".

Following Wednesday's workout Ibaka said the ankle was feeling much better as he prepared to board a flight for Milwaukee.

According to oddsmakers at BetDSI, the Bucks are the slim favorite at home, as they are getting odds of -1.5 points against the Raptors. "Once I felt like I didn't have the shot, I just tried to find the open man and let them do the rest of the work". At home, they do better, but the profit lied in the over, where the Bucks were 23-17 this season.