The Toronto Raptors, led by Kawhi Leonard’s 36 points, defeated the Milwaukee Bucks 118-112 to double overtime to win Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Finals.
The Bucks’ 2-0 lead has been cut in half. The Raptors trail 2-1 with Game 4 set for Tuesday in Toronto.
The Bucks scored the first bucket of the game to take a 2-0 lead, but they would not regain the score again until overtime. The Raptors led almost the entire game, but blew a five-point lead late in the fourth quarter.
Malcolm Brogdon hit a shot with 38 seconds remaining to put the Bucks within two points. Khris Middleton scored with 2.2 seconds remaining to tie the game at 96-96 and put it into overtime.
In the first overtime, the Bucks rallied from four points back to tie the game again and send it into double overtime. George Hill hit a pair of clutch free throws with 14 seconds remaining in OT to even it up at 103-103.
The Bucks ran out of gas in double overtime. Giannis Antetokounmpo fouled out and the Bucks were toast.
Kawhi Leonard scored 8 of the Raptors 15 points in the second overtime frame. The Raptors held on for a 118-112 victory.
Leonard finished the game with 36 points. He played a career-high 52 minutes.
“It’s in the playoffs, so you definitely feel it,” said Leonard. “When you play 30 minutes, you feel it still. Just got to not worry about it, get my treatment and move on to the next one.”
Leonard injured his leg too, but it was not severe enough to pull him off the court.
Pascal Siakam scored 25 points and hauled down 11 rebounds. Marc Gasol added 16 points with 12 rebounds. He also shadowed the Greek Freak at times.
Norman Powell came off the bench to score 19 points, for some much-needed firepower. Kyle Lowry had another quiet game with just 11 points.
Not So Super Freak
Giannis Antetokounmpo posted his worst game of the playoffs after the Bucks started 10-1, including a sweep over the Detroit Pistons. Then again, the entire starting five stunk it up for the Bucks. They shot 27 percent from the floor and missed 50 combined shots. The Freak and Khris Middleton combined for just 21 points… in a double overtime game. Whenever your top two scorers score half of what they average, you know it’s going to be a long night.
The Greek Freak went 5-for-16 from the floor for just 12 points. Antetokounmpo hauled down 23 rebounds though and contributed 7 assists in a losing effort.
Khris Middleton also struggled with a 3-for-15 shooting clip, including 1-for-6 from three-point range. Middleton scored just 9 points.
“They were just playing better than us,” said Antetokounmpo. “Whenever we got close, they’d hit some shots and take the lead back to seven or eight. At the end of the day, it wasn’t our best game. We can get a lot better.”
George Hill led the Bucks in scoring with 24 points. Hill came off the bench with one of his best performances of the year, which included 7-for-9 from the floor, including 3-for-4 from downtown. Hill also hit several key free throws in crunch time and he 7-for-8 from the charity stripe.
Malcolm Brogdon came off the bench to score 20 points. Brook Lopez added 16 points and 6 rebounds.
Coming in Game 4 on Tuesday, there’s a home dog alert with the Raptors in Toronto. The Greek Freak and Milwaukee Bucks are a consensus 2.5-point favorite on the road. Then again, Kawhi often saves his best performances for Game 4.