The Milwaukee Bucks entered Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Finals as 7.5-point favorites over the Toronto Raptors, and proceeded to outscore Toronto by 10 points (32-22) in the first quarter at . Neither team had won a road game in the series, and with the way Game 5 started, it certainly didn’t appear it would be any different. But the Raptors played a tremendous game the rest of the way, led by a remarkable fourth-quarter performance, to come away with a rather surprising 105-99 victory and take a 3-2 series lead.
As usual, the Raptors were led by Kawhi Leonard. The superstar forward had 35 points, nine assists, and seven rebounds.
Kawhi Leonard has 7 35-point games in these playoffs.
Over the last 20 seasons, the only other player with 7 35-point games before the NBA Finals? LeBron James. 3 different times.
Kawhi is having one heck of a postseason. pic.twitter.com/M776kiudUv
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) May 24, 2019
#WeTheNorth Kawhi Leonard is the 14th player in NBA history to average 31.0 points per game on the road in a single postseason (minimum 8 games)
— Sportsnet Stats (@SNstats) May 24, 2019
The Raptors also got a big game from Fred VanVleet off the bench. The former Wichita State star had 21 points, with all of those points coming on a ridiculous 7-of-9 shooting from three-point land.
Fred VanVleet hits his 7TH THREE of the night!#WeTheNorth | #NBAPlayoffs pic.twitter.com/NrOQmhMD8q
— NBA Canada (@NBACanada) May 24, 2019
While VanVleet had 21 points off the bench, the Bucks had only 15 bench points total. That summarized Milwaukee’s night, and now they’re in must-win territory after appearing to be in full control with a 2-0 series lead (and again, a 10-point lead after the first quarter of Game 5). It’s pretty horrible timing for Milwaukee to have *their first three-game losing streak of the season*.
As of last week, the Bucks hadn’t lost three games in a row in over 15 months
— Tommy Beer (@TommyBeer) May 24, 2019
And now comes Game 6, which certainly feels like a Game 7. The Raptors have the chance to close out the series at home and advance to the NBA Finals for the first time in franchise history. But if the Bucks can win, they’ll have the momentum back and with Game 7 in Milwaukee.
The crucial Game 6 tips off at 8:30 PM ET on Saturday night Toronto.
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