Thon Maker Steps Up for Milwaukee Bucks but Toronto Raptors Holds Its Line to Level Series
Serge Ibaka helped Toronto Raptors neutralize Milwaukee Bucks to tie the series at 2-2 after winning Game 4, 87-76.
Thon Maker and Giannis Antetokounmpo started on a high and could have easily upset Raptors but the Toronto side looked reserved and calculative on defense despite lacking a spark on offense.
Nevertheless, the visitor’s focus was well utilized in holding its defensive line to keep out a resilient Bucks.
While Maker who finished with 7 points, 4 rebounds, 2 assists and 2 steals stepped up to the mantle with effective aggressiveness, it was a relatively tough and low-scoring night for Antetokounmpo (14 points, 9 rebounds, 4 assists, 2 steals, 2 blocks) who was forced to make uncomfortable shots and drives to the basket, but comfortably cleared Bucks’ defensive boards.
Ibaka (10 points, 8 rebounds, 1 assist, 2 steals, 2 steals, and 3 blocks) got right down to business for Raptors with two of his first blocks in just under four minutes but Maker’s persistent offense was crucial in helping to keep the home side at bay.
Raptors’ DeMar DeRozan who finished with 33 points, 9 rebounds, 5 assists and 4 steals, was the man-of-the match as he maintained such composure that it was crucial in reviving the Raptors’ low-tempo offense, in addition to poor shot conversions on the attempt.
The Raptors had to force a way through a physically towering Bucks defense to have a better chance at getting points.
There was no calling the better side of the night as each team was neck-to-neck with the tempo favoring the Bucks more so considering home court advantage.
But by the fourth quarter, Toronto was leading with a five point deficit in what could have been a major game changer for Bucks. But Raptors was having none of the pressure.
[perfectpullquote align=”full” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]”I’ve always said we play better with our backs against the wall,”[/perfectpullquote]
Raptors coach Dwane Casey said.
“It’s a tough way to live but I love our team’s resilient personality. I wish we wouldn’t have a stinker before we play that way, but if we can consistently get everybody at their level, their potential level, I think we’ll be in good shape.
Featured photo: Getty Images