Bucks top Raptors 125-103 for 2-0 East finals lead

Bucks top Raptors 125-103 for 2-0 East finals lead
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Giannis Antetokounmpo of the Milwaukee Bucks attempts a shot in the fourth quarter against the Toronto Raptors during Game Two of the Eastern Conference Finals of the 2019 NBA Playoffs at the Fiserv Forum on May 17, 2019 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. (Stacy Revere/Getty Images/AFP)
Bucks top Raptors 125-103 for 2-0 East finals lead
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Toronto Raptors guard Fred VanVleet (23) and guard Kyle Lowry (7) fight for a loose ball against Milwaukee Bucks guard George Hill (3) in the fourth quarter in game two of the Eastern conference finals of the 2019 NBA Playoffs at Fiserv Forum. (Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports)
Bucks top Raptors 125-103 for 2-0 East finals lead
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Milwaukee Bucks guard George Hill (3) shoots during the third quarter against the Toronto Raptors in game two of the Eastern conference finals of the 2019 NBA Playoffs at Fiserv Forum. (Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports)
Updated 18 May 2019

Bucks top Raptors 125-103 for 2-0 East finals lead

Bucks top Raptors 125-103 for 2-0 East finals lead
  • It was Milwaukee’s 70th win of the season, tying the 1973-74 Bucks for the second-most in franchise history
  • The Bucks have never lost a series when leading 2-0; they’ve been in this spot 13 previous times

MILWAUKEE, Wisconsin: Giannis Antetokounmpo had 30 points and 17 rebounds, Ersan Ilyasova came off the bench to add 17 points and the Milwaukee Bucks never trailed on the way to beating the Toronto Raptors 125-103 on Friday night and taking a 2-0 lead in the Eastern Conference finals.
Antetokounmpo scored 11 points in the fourth for the Bucks, who wound up with six players in double figures — three of them reserves. Nikola Mirotic scored 15, Malcolm Brogdon had 14, George Hill 13 and Khris Middleton 12.
Kawhi Leonard scored 31 points for Toronto, which gave up the game’s first nine points, never led and trailed by double digits for the final 39 minutes. Kyle Lowry scored 15 and Norman Powell had 14 for the Raptors.
Game 3 is Sunday in Toronto.
Milwaukee, which led the NBA with a 60-22 record during the regular season, became the 16th team to start a playoff run with at least 10 victories in its first 11 games. Only three teams — the 1989 Los Angeles Lakers, the 2001 Lakers and the 2017 Golden State Warriors — started a postseason 11-0.
The Bucks led by as many as 28, before Toronto did just enough chipping away to keep some semblance of hope.
Eventually, Antetokounmpo decided enough was enough.
With 5:51 left to play Antetokounmpo backed Leonard down on the block, spun back toward the center of the lane, scored while getting hit and starting a three-point play.
He yelled to the crowd and punched the air.
The knockout blow was landed, and soon, the Bucks moved two wins away from their first NBA Finals berth in 45 years.
Milwaukee had a big rebounding edge for the second straight game — 60-46 in Game 1, 53-40 in Game 2 — and finished with only seven turnovers.
“When the game started, we did a great job setting the tone,” Antetokounmpo said.
The tone never changed, either.
Toronto was down 21 when Lowry got his third foul with 1:27 left until the break. The Raptors left Lowry in; he wound up getting his fourth foul while battling Mirotic for a rebound 24 seconds later and let the referees have an earful as he headed to the bench. Another roll of the dice didn’t pay off, either: Raptors forward Pascal Siakam got his fourth shortly after halftime, then got his fifth with 9:26 left in the third.
They weren’t happy.
They shouldn’t have been, but this wasn’t about calls.
It was just a rout.
Milwaukee’s lead was 35-21 after the first, 64-39 at the half. It was the first time Toronto had been outscored by 10 or more points in each of a game’s first two quarters since May 25, 2016, against Cleveland and the 25-point halftime hole was, by far, the Raptors’ worst of the season. They trailed Houston 55-37 on March 5.
Antetokounmpo started the second half with a three-point play, pushing the lead to 28.
That’s when Toronto found a bit of a groove.
The Raptors outscored Milwaukee 31-16 over the next nine minutes, getting within 83-70 on a 3-pointer by Fred VanVleet. But a quick flurry by the Bucks restored order — Brogdon rebounded his own miss and scored, then set up George Hill for a score in transition, and Hill scored again off a Raptors turnover a few seconds later.
Just like that, the lead was back up to 19, and it was 95-78 going into the fourth.

TIP-INS
Raptors: The 14-point deficit after one quarter was Toronto’s second-largest of the season, with a 38-19 opening quarter at San Antonio — in Leonard’s return there— on Jan. 3 the only one that saw them down more after 12 minutes. ... Lowry became the second player in these playoffs with four fouls by halftime. Detroit’s Bruce Brown did it April 22, also against the Bucks. ... The Raptors are 0-63 all-time when trailing by 20 or more at the half.
Bucks: It was Milwaukee’s 70th win of the season, tying the 1973-74 Bucks for the second-most in franchise history. The 1970-71 Bucks won 78. ... Robin Lopez, Brook’s brother, was in the sellout crowd. ... Ilyasova’s 15 first-half points matched a season high, and were part of a 31-11 bench scoring edge by the Bucks in the half. ... Milwaukee has won its last six playoff games, tying the franchise record for longest such streak. ... The Bucks are now 50-13 vs. the East this season.

HISTORY LESSON
The Bucks have never lost a series when leading 2-0; they’ve been in this spot 13 previous times. Toronto has never overcome a 2-0 series deficit in seven previous attempts.

AWARD FINALISTS
This series has plenty of representation on the list of finalists for the NBA’s top individual awards, revealed Friday. Antetokounmpo is a finalist for MVP and Defensive Player of the Year; the Bucks’ Mike Budenholzer is a finalist for Coach of the Year and Siakam is a Most Improved Player finalist. Antetokounmpo is assured of being the Bucks’ highest finisher in the MVP race since Kareem Abdul-Jabbar won the award in 1974.

UP NEXT
Game 3 is Sunday in Toronto.


Yokohama send big guns Jeonbuk packing with 4-1 victory

Updated 02 December 2020

Yokohama send big guns Jeonbuk packing with 4-1 victory

Yokohama send big guns Jeonbuk packing with 4-1 victory
  • It’s a fantastic achievement and we are proud of everyone involved — Marinos coach Ange Postecouglou

DOHA: Yokohama Marinos cruised into the knockout phase of the Asian Champions League for the first time in their history on Tuesday, hammering two-time champions Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors 4-1 in their Group H clash.

Yokohama's Thai defender Theerathon Bunmathan thundered in a shot from the edge of the box in the 17th minute to set the tone, before three goals in the second half sent the 2006 and 2016 winners Jeonbuk crashing out of the tournament.

"It's a great performance and a credit to the players, because it's the first time the club has got out of the group stage," said Yokohama coach Ange Postecouglou.

"We started really well and put pressure on them, scored a goal — a good goal from Bunmathan.

"We missed some chances in the first half which always keeps the opposition in the game, but in the second half we were a bit smarter, worked our counterattacks really well and scored three good goals.

"It's a fantastic achievement and we are proud of everyone involved."

Besides being the first team from eastern Asia to win the Champions League when it was launched in its current format in 2003, Jeonbuk are also eight-time K League winners, a South Korean record, which includes four consecutive titles starting in 2017.

But at the Al Janoub Stadium on Tuesday, their only bright moment came in the 54th minute when Gustavo fired home from the penalty spot three minutes after Marcos Junior had put Yokohama 2-0 ahead.

Teruhito Nagakawa's 71st minute strike and an own goal by Song—  whose attempted headed clearance found his own net seven minutes from close — confirmed Jeonbuk's exit.

"The team gave what it was possible to do with the contingent that we have," lamented Jeonbuk coach Jose Morais.

"In the first half, strategically, we went in terms of containing the offensive game of Yokohama, which is a big game and a quality game."

"In the second half, the result as it was wasn't enough to take us forward, so we took more risks."

In Group G, Chinese giants Guangzhou Evergrande and South Korea's Suwon Samsung Bluewings played out a 1-1 draw at the Khalifa International Stadium.

Lim Sang-hyub put Suwon ahead in the 53rd minute but Wei Shihao restored parity in the 72nd for Guangzhou with the help of an assist from Ai Kesen.

The result means the second qualifying spot from the group will be decided on Friday with the Bluewings needing at least a 2-0 victory to join Vissel Kobe of Japan in the round of 16.

Guangzhou coach Fabio Cannavaro was once again at a loss to explain his team's showing.

"I am not happy because the performance of my team in the first half was not so good," said the former Italy international.

"We didn't control the game and we didn't even try to play football. Even in defence we did not play well. I don't want to find excuses."

Suwon's Park Kun-ha lamented the fact that his team didn't make the most of the chances they got.

"We got the first goal and then unfortunately conceded the equaliser. We had many chances at the end but we could not win."