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Toronto Raptors forward Pascal Siakam (43) moves up court as Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo (34) defends during the second half of Game 4 of the NBA basketball playoffs Eastern Conference finals, Tuesday, May 21, 2019 in Toronto. (Frank Gunn/The Canadian Press via AP)

NBA Eastern Conference Finals Heating Up

The NBA East finals are heating up as the Toronto Raptors tied up the series against the Milwaukee Bucks after winning game four 120-102. The Bucks took the early lead in the series by winning the first two games in Milwaukee. The Raptors captured the second two games on their home court to tie up the series 2-2.

Game five and a possible game 7 will be back at Milwaukee, while Game six will be in Toronto. The Bucks will be looking to use their home court advantage in game five to regain the momentum. The Raptors will try to push the first two games at Milwaukee out of their heads to hold onto their momentum.

Game Four

Kawhi Leonard is fighting through pain in these final games. Knowing Leonard was not up to his full potential, the Raptors needed to pull something together for game four. And Kyle Lowry led the way and finished the game with 25 points. Even injured though, Leonard still scored 19 points, followed by Norman Powell with 18 and Marc Gasol and Serge Ibaka both at 17.

Toronto Raptors forward Kawhi Leonard (2) dunks on Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo (34) during the second half of Game 4 of the NBA basketball playoffs Eastern Conference finals, Tuesday, May 21, 2019 in Toronto. (Frank Gunn/The Canadian Press via AP)

Averaging normally just over 14 points per game, Lowry really stepped it up to help his team tie up the series. He even scored 12 of the teams first 17 points. The bench for Toronto also stepped up big time in this win against Milwaukee.

The Raptor’s bench more than doubled the points that were put up by the Buck’s bench.  This is Milwaukee’s second straight loss following a six-game win streak. The Bucks only lost two games back to back once during the regular season.

Giannis Antetokounmpo led the way during game four for Milwaukee with 25 points and 10 rebounds. Khris Middleton scored 30 points for the Bucks, but no one else on the team scored more than 11 points.

The Buck’s other starters, Nikola Mirotic, Brook Lopez and Eric Bledsoe all have point averages in the teens. Lopez, who normally averages almost 13 points, only scored eight in the Bucks loss. Bledsoe, who normally averages almost 16 points, only scored five points.

Toronto Raptors guard Kyle Lowry (7) shoots against Milwaukee Bucks centre Brook Lopez (11) during the first half of Game 4 of the NBA basketball playoffs Eastern Conference finals, Tuesday, May 21, 2019, in Toronto. (Nathan Denette/The Canadian Press via AP)

The Bucks started out the game strong at even had a 12-5 lead early in the first. This lead did not last long though as the Raptors had re-tied the game within the next two minutes.

The first quarter stayed pretty even between the two teams and ended with the Raptors up by one at 32-31. The second quarter started in favor of the Raptors who scored the first nine points of the quarter. The Raptors broke away in the second quarter and went into halftime with a ten point lead at 65-55.

Early in the third, the Raptors had a lead of as many as 13 before the Bucks started to close the gap. The spurt of effort from Milwaukee would not be enough to close the gap completely as Toronto had their 14 point lead back late in the third and went into the fourth up 94-81.

Just 30 seconds into the fourth, Toronto had already broken the 100 point mark while Milwaukee was still 18 points away. The game ended with the Raptors defeating the Bucks by 18 points at 120-102.

Looking Ahead to Game Five

The Raptors will enter game five trying to hold onto the momentum that they found during games three and four.

The Bucks will enter game five trying to recapture what they had in the first two games. The Bucks will also be trying to find the defense that was lacking during game four.

The home team has won every game in this series so far. So, let’s see if this trend holds up in game five at Milwaukee. Game five will be on Thursday at 8:30 on TNT.

About Lindsay Studstill

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