cloudyn.png
Saturday July 20th, 2019 6:26AM

Leonard scores 35, Raptors beat Bucks 105-99 for 3-2 lead

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

MILWAUKEE (AP) — Kawhi Leonard arrived in Toronto thinking he could pick up another championship to go with the one he already has.

One more victory and he'll play for another ring. And dominant performances like he put up Thursday night are a big reason why.

Leonard scored 35 points and the Raptors beat the Milwaukee Bucks 105-99 to take a 3-2 lead in the Eastern Conference finals.

"I'm not afraid of the moment," Leonard said. "This is what I work out for in the summer. I'm just trying to win. It's a matter of me being aggressive and don't shy away from anything."

Leonard was the NBA Finals MVP when San Antonio won the championship in 2014. And he's capping off his first season in Toronto after requesting a trade from the Spurs with quite a playoff run.

It includes the first buzzer-beater to win a Game 7 — a shot that took four bounces off the rim to knock out Philadelphia in the conference semifinals. And he has continued to dominate in the conference finals.

Leonard showed no obvious signs of the leg soreness that bothered him in Toronto's victories in the previous two games, hitting the 30-point mark for the fourth time in the series. He had a career-high nine assists, made five 3-pointers and grabbed seven rebounds.

Fred VanVleet, whose son was born Monday, scored 21 points, hitting seven 3s . Kyle Lowry added 17 as the Raptors put themselves in position to advance to the NBA Finals for the first time. A victory at home Saturday would set up a matchup with two-time defending champion Golden State.

The Raptors battled out of an early 14-point hole, then got 15 points from Leonard in the fourth quarter to send the top-seeded Bucks to their first three-game losing streak of the season.

"He has been unbelievable in the playoffs with the Spurs as well," Raptors coach Nick Nurse said. "I can only say that he's been really good. He gets stronger as the fourth wears on. He wants the ball and he wants to make the plays and he seems to be making the right plays. You're almost shocked when he pulls up at 15 feet and it doesn't go in. He's playing at both ends."

Giannis Antetokounmpo had 24 points for Milwaukee hours after being announced as a unanimous first-team, All-NBA selection.

"We're not going to fold," he said. "Come on, man. Best team in the league, man. We're not going to fold. We're going to go in and give it everything we've got. We can't fold. We're going to come back to Milwaukee being (ticked)."

Eric Bledsoe scored 20 and Malcolm Brogdon added 18 points and 11 rebounds in his return to the starting lineup.

"It's first to four. We've got to go to Toronto, get a game. I think the group will be ready," Bucks coach Mike Budenholzer said.

The Raptors were clinging to a two-point lead in the closing minute after Khris Middleton drove around Leonard on the baseline for a layup.

Toronto was initially called for a shot-clock violation when Leonard missed a fadeaway jumper with 35 seconds left. That got overturned by a replay review, and Brook Lopez was called for a foul, instead, for bumping Marc Gasol after he retrieved the loose ball.

Gasol hit both free throws to make it 100-97. Another replay review went in Toronto's favor when officials determined a ball went out of bounds off Brogdon with 26.8 seconds left. Brogdon pulled his hand away, thinking his dribble had gone off Pascal Siakam's foot.

Siakam then drove for a dunk, making it 102-97, and the Raptors hung on from there.

Milwaukee was leading 81-79 with about 8 1/2 minutes left when Leonard nailed back-to-back 3-pointers . He hit two free throws before Siakam threw down a put-back dunk to make it 89-81.

The Bucks tied it at 93-all with 2:44 left on a 3-pointer by Lopez. VanVleet answered with one of his own before Antetokounmpo threw down an alley-oop dunk to cut it to 96-95 with just over two minutes remaining.

He was subbed out with 1:12 left in the game after twisting his ankle, but checked back in with 35 seconds to go.

BREW CREW

Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers got sucked into a beer chugging contest, and it didn't go that well for him.

Teammate David Bakhtiari had no trouble downing three cups when he was shown on the video board. The camera panned to Rodgers and he could only finish about half of one, drawing scorn from some fans.

Brewers star Christian Yelich had no trouble chugging one later in the game.

TIP-INS

Raptors: Lowry has 1,126 points in 66 playoff games for Toronto, surpassing DeMar DeRozan (1,117) as the franchise's postseason scoring leader.

Bucks: Brogdon started all 64 games he played in during the regular season, before missing basically all of the first two rounds because of a heel injury. With Brogdon back in the lineup, Nikola Mirotic came off the bench.

UP NEXT

Game 6 is at Toronto on Saturday.

___

More AP NBA: https://apnews.com/NBA and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP Sports, AP Online Basketball, AP National News, AP Online National News, Top General short headlines, AP Sports - NBA
© Copyright 2019 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Leonard scores 35, Raptors beat Bucks 105-99 for 3-2 lead
Kawhi Leonard scored 35 points, and the Toronto Raptors beat the Milwaukee Bucks 105-99 Thursday night to grab a 3-2 lead in the Eastern Conference finals
11:26PM ( 16 minutes ago )
Trump moves to escalate investigation of intel agencies
President Donald Trump is directing the U.S. intelligence community to "quickly and fully cooperate" with Attorney General William Barr's investigation of the origins of the multi-year probe of whether his 2016 campaign colluded with Russia.
11:05PM ( 37 minutes ago )
The Latest: Modi's party surges to victory in Indian vote
Charismatic but polarizing Prime Minister Narendra Modi has surged to a landslide victory in Indian elections
11:05PM ( 37 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
Twins tie team record with 8 homers in 16-7 win over Angels
The Minnesota Twins tied a franchise record with eight home runs _ including two apiece by Miguel Sano and Jonathan Schoop _ in a 16-7 victory over the Los Angeles Angels
9:39PM ( 2 hours ago )
Sullivan's 2-run double lifts Georgia past Arkansas, 3-1
Patrick Sullivan's two-run double in the bottom of the eighth lifted Georgia to a 3-1 win over Arkansas in the Southeastern Conference Tournament
8:37PM ( 3 hours ago )
Riley homers again as Braves beat Giants 5-4 in 13 innings
Austin Riley hit a game-tying home run in the eighth inning then drove in the go-ahead run in the 13th with a two-out single off Reyes Moronta, lifting the Atlanta Braves past the San Francisco Giants 5-4 on Thursday.
8:20PM ( 3 hours ago )
AP Sports
Kevin Durant won't return in time for Game 1 of NBA Finals
Kevin Durant won't be ready to play in time for Game 1 of the NBA Finals on May 30
5:17PM ( 6 hours ago )
WNBA's new season ready to tip off
It's been a busy offseason for the WNBA with big names changing places, a new commissioner and a few injuries to some of the sport's greatest players
11:04AM ( 12 hours ago )
Michigan hires Juwan Howard as basketball coach
Michigan hires Juwan Howard as basketball coach on five-year deal
9:25PM ( 1 day ago )
AP Online Basketball
"American Taliban" John Walker Lindh is released from prison
The "American Taliban," John Walker Lindh, has been released from prison after more than 17 years, but he's under tight restrictions
9:57PM ( 1 hour ago )
ISO affirmation: Trump has aides vouch that he's 'very calm'
Sometimes even the president of the United States needs somebody to vouch for him
9:56PM ( 1 hour ago )
APNewsBreak: Police won't fight California use-of-force bill
APNewsBreak: Two major police organizations are dropping their opposition to California legislation that would tighten the standard for use of deadly force
9:50PM ( 1 hour ago )
AP National News
Trade impasse: Trump pledges $16B to farmers; markets slump
Trump administration prepares another $16 billion in aid for farmers hurt by trade wars
8:08PM ( 3 hours ago )
The Latest: Modi's party wins majority in general election
With nearly all constituencies reporting, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Hindu nationalist party have won a majority in India's general election
8:04PM ( 3 hours ago )
The Latest: Exit poll sees fractured result in Dutch EU vote
An exit poll published by Dutch national broadcaster NOS shows that the Labor Party has won the most seats in a Dutch European Parliament election that delivered a fractured result
7:22PM ( 4 hours ago )
AP Online National News
"Big Bang Theory" finale gets galactic ratings to win week
In its last blast, 'The Big Bang Theory' topped the TV ratings by a light-year
5:02PM ( 2 days ago )
Renaissance man: Beilein ready to breathe new life into Cavs
New Cavaliers coach John Beilein ready for a renaissance era in Cleveland
3:08PM ( 2 days ago )
Beilein ready to undertake 'renaissance' with Cavaliers
New Cavaliers coach John Beilein ready to begin 'renaissance' with Cleveland
1:20PM ( 2 days ago )
AP Sports - NBA
Trump moves to escalate investigation of intel agencies
President Donald Trump is directing the U.S. intelligence community to "quickly and fully cooperate" with Attorney General William Barr's investigation of the origins of the multi-year probe of whether his 2016 campaign colluded with Russia.
11:05PM ( 37 minutes ago )
The Latest: Modi's party surges to victory in Indian vote
Charismatic but polarizing Prime Minister Narendra Modi has surged to a landslide victory in Indian elections
11:05PM ( 37 minutes ago )
Modi surges to victory in India on Hindu-first platform
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Hindu nationalist party surged to a landslide election victory
10:59PM ( 43 minutes ago )
File says Smollett couldn't contact brothers after arrest
A case file unsealed in Chicago says one of Jussie Smollett's conditions after posting $10,000 bail was that he have no contact with two brothers police say he paid to help stage a racist, anti-gay attack
10:40PM ( 1 hour ago )
UN health agency seeks to halve number of snakebite deaths
WHO is publishing its first-ever global strategy to tackle the problem of snake bites, aiming to halve the number of people killed and disabled by snakes by 2030
10:32PM ( 1 hour ago )