Toronto Raptors defeat Milwaukee Bucks to tie series


The Toronto Raptors beat the Milwaukee Bucks 120-102 in game four of the Eastern Conference Finals to tie the series 2-2 on Tuesday night.

Raptors point guard Kyle Lowry, 33, scored 25 points including 18 in the first half to level the series.

NBA All Star Kawhi Leonard, 27, managed 19 points despite limping following a knee injury sustained in game three.

The result marks just the second time this season the Bucks have lost consecutive games.

Meanwhile, the Raptors had a 19-point lead in the third quarter, and carried a 13-point margin entering the fourth.

“We have had to rely on him so much, and when everybody steps up, it takes the load off him,” Lowry said of his team-mate Leonard.

Raptors coach Nick Nurse said of Leonard’s injury: “I mean, yeah, we were concerned. I think he’s fine. You know, he logged a lot of minutes. He’s certainly tired, like a lot of guys in this series are. You know, he looks ok to me.

“I think there are a number of guys out there that aren’t 100% on both sides of the ball. But, again, he’s got tremendous will. He’s got tremendous desire, and there’s one time I was trying to give him an extended rest there and he didn’t really want it. So he must be OK.”

Bucks pair Khris Middleton and MVP candidate Giannis Antetokounmpo combined for 55 points at the Scotiabank Arena.

Bucks’ post-season record had seen them lose just one game heading into game three.

“I think defensively, just tonight didn’t feel like where we need to be defensively,” Bucks coach Mike Budenholzer said.

“They got to good spots. They shared the ball. They passed it. They made open shots. They made some high-degree-of-difficulty shots, so that’s a bad combination. They’re making open looks and then they’re making tough ones, too.”

Game five will be played on Thursday in Milwaukee, with the winner of the best-of-seven series set to face reigning champions the Golden State Warriors in the NBA Finals.

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