Raptors beat Bucks in six games to advance
Los Angeles (AFP) – DeMar DeRozan delivered 32 points as the Toronto Raptors rebounded after blowing a 25-point second half lead to defeat the Milwaukee Bucks 92-89 to reach the second round of the NBA playoffs.
The Raptors used a 9-0 surge late in the fourth quarter at Milwaukee’s Bradley Center arena to win the first-round Eastern Conference series by eliminating the Bucks in six games.
Toronto advances to face the second-seeded Cleveland Cavaliers in the second round, a rematch of last season’s East finals.
DeRozan led the way for Toronto on Thursday. He made 12-of-24 from the field, including a thunderous dunk with 48 seconds to play. Kyle Lowry added 13 points for the Raptors.
Milwaukee’s Giannis Antetokounmpo scored 34 points and grabbed nine rebounds in 47 minutes but made just seven of 13 attempts from the free-throw line. The Bucks made only 18 of their 28 foul shots.
The Bucks stumbled through the second quarter, going six-for-22 from the field and missing all four of their three-point attempts to fall behind by as much as 13.
DeRozan had 16 points by halftime as Toronto took a 51-38 lead into the break.
The Raptors led by as many as 25 in the third quarter before Milwaukee finally got their act together. The Bucks closed the quarter on a 15-3 run to make it a 74-61 game heading to the fourth.
Toronto led by six in the fourth when Serge Ibaka drew his fourth foul but a 14-0 Milwaukee run put the Bucks up 80-78 with just over three minutes to play.
Jason Terry nailed a long range three-pointer to make it a one-possession game with 16 seconds left but DeRozan closed it out from the foul line.