The Toronto Raptors defeated the Milwaukee Bucks 120-102 to tie the Eastern Conference finals series at two a piece. The trio of Serge Ibaka, Norman Powell and Fred VanVleet, who, for the most part, have been the only reserves to play meaningful minutes in the postseason, combined for 48 points, 19 rebounds and 11 assists.
Khris Middleton had 30 points for the Bucks, while Giannis Antetokounmpo had 25 points and 10 rebounds.
With Kawhi Leonard and Pascal Siakam both logging more than 50 minutes and even Marc Gasol pushing 45 in the double-overtime win over the Bucks in Game 3, the 14:29 beside Ibaka's name in the boxscore was very surprising. Milwaukee began the night with a 12-5 run and that spurt included a pair of dunks from Giannis Antetokounmpo. Now, they'll have to deliver an emphatic response in Game 5 back at home on Thursday night. George Hill actually led the team with 24 points and seven rebounds off the bench while Malcolm Brogdon had 20 points. Just the way they played, man, definitely inspiring. "They came out and were more physical were more active", Powell said. He even went a flawless 3-for-3 from three-point range. "We've still got to get better, stick with our game plan".
"It's just a different series", Raptors coach Nick Nurse said of the fluctuation play of his bench. "Everybody gets frustrated with themselves when they are not playing well because they feel like they are letting the team down". And you can make the case the Raptors have been the better team for the bulk of Games 1 and 3. I just go out there and play.
After gutting out a double-OT victory on Sunday, Toronto made a strong statement in Game 4. I think he's fine. Seriously, it's getting more repetitive than the "na, na, na, na-na-na na" part in Hey Jude. The Bucks pulled to within four - thanks largely to a 13-point quarter for Middleton - but the Raptors outscored Milwaukee 13-7 to the end of the quarter, and were wildly applauded as they headed to the locker-room at halftime with a 65-55 cushion.