National Basketball Association
Toronto 118, Milwaukee 93
When: 7:00 PM ET, Monday, April 24, 2017
Where: Air Canada Centre, Toronto, Ontario
#19 James Capers, #26 Pat Fraher, #61 Courtney Kirkland
TORONTO -- Raptors coach Dwane Casey calls Norman Powell an "X factor" in Toronto's series against the Milwaukee Bucks.
Powell filled in that X with a solid number, 25 points, Monday night when the Raptors defeated the Bucks 118-93 to take a 3-2 lead in an Eastern Conference first-round playoff matchup.
Game 6 will be played Thursday in Milwaukee.
"(Powell) is a sparkplug," Casey said. "He's the X factor. So many times you're so concerned about DeMar (DeRozan) and Kyle (Lowry), and rightfully so. So, that next sparkplug, that next guy, that next instigator is the guy. So, this series he's been an X factor, the next game it might be a different story, but he's done an excellent job playing off those two and taking what the game has given him, whether it's a 3-point shot or attack to the basket."
Powell, a reserve guard most of the season, was making his second start of the series. He was injected into the lineup for Game 4 in Milwaukee after Toronto's poor performance in Game 3.
"I think Powell is coming out with a lot of energy on both sides of the ball, and they're feeding off that," Bucks coach Jason Kidd said. "He's playing extremely hard and he's knocking down shots, but he's in there to play defense and he's playing at a very high level for those guys right now. ... He's picked them up here in the last couple of games just with his energy and spirit."
Powell added, "It's all about giving myself up for the team."
Bucks center Greg Monroe said, "We just have to match his energy. He's playing harder than everybody."
Lowry added 16 points and 10 assists for the Raptors on Monday. Serge Ibaka chipped in with 19 points, DeRozan had 18 points, DeMarre Carroll added 12, and Cory Joseph scored 10 off the bench.
When asked the difference in the Raptors from Game 3 to Game 4, Carroll answered: "Let's just say we had a heated film session."
Giannis Antetokounmpo led the Bucks with his playoff-career-best 30 points, and he grabbed nine rebounds. Malcolm Brogdon added 19 points, and Monroe had 11.
"I thought they came out and set the tone of the game at the very beginning," Brogdon said. "They kept their energy up, they sustained it, they had guys come in and contribute off the bench, and we weren't able to get enough stops."
Brogdon said Powell gives the Raptors better ball movement when he is in the game.
"I think they just did a great job of setting the tone, hitting first," Antetokounmpo said. "We just have to do a better job of being ready, try and hit first and be more focused at the beginning of the game."
The Raptors used a 17-0 run in the first quarter to take a 26-11 lead. The Bucks responded with a 9-0 run. Toronto led 31-20 at the end of the opening quarter.
Toronto went ahead by 19 points with 6:36 to play in the second quarter on Patrick Patterson's jumper.
Milwaukee trimmed the lead to 10 with 2:57 to play in the first half when Khris Middleton's turnaround, fadeaway jump shot finished a 9-0 run. The Raptors led 57-48 at the intermission.
The Raptors took a 15-point lead with 7:59 left in the third quarter when Powell hit a 3-pointer from the corner.
There was a skirmish with 4:11 to play in the third quarter with Monroe and Toronto's Jonas Valanciunas given technical fouls.
It started under Toronto's defensive basket when Valanciunas flipping Monroe with his hip, and the brief exchange erupted under the Milwaukee defensive basket.
The Raptors led by 21 points when Joseph made a 3-pointer with 43.6 seconds to play in the third quarter. The Raptors led 90-73 after three quarters.
Antetokounmpo's running layup brought the Bucks to within 14 points with 7:19 to play.
The Raptors stretched their lead to 18 when Lowry made two free throws with 6:39 remaining.
Powell's spectacular driving dunk bumped the lead to 19.
DeRozan's 3-pointer had the lead at 23 with 2:46 left.
When asked about the difference in the past two games after a dismal Game 3, Valanciunas said, "We regrouped and are playing different basketball, playing together, that's why we're winning."
With Powell starting at small forward, Ibaka moved to center to take the place of Valanciunas, who has come off the bench in the past two games. Valanciunas had eight points and seven rebounds in 21 minutes Monday.
NOTES: Bucks G Khris Middleton (sore throat) missed the shootaround Monday but was in the starting lineup. He scored eight points in 36 minutes. ... Raptors G Kyle Lowry (stiff back) did not participate in the shootaround but was in the starting lineup. "I'm going to take the bumps and bruises to be out there with my guys," Lowry said after the game. ... Toronto finished with a 40-23 rebounding edge. ... The Raptors had 28 assists, a team best in a playoff game under Dwane Casey and one short of their season best. ... The Bucks had 22 assists, and they have recorded 20 or more assists in four of the five games in the series.
Top Game Performances
Giannis Antetokounmpo 30
Norman Powell 25
Khris Middleton 6
Kyle Lowry 10
Giannis Antetokounmpo 8
Jonas Valanciunas 7
Giannis Antetokounmpo 6
||Free Throws Made
Kyle Lowry 6
Khris Middleton 5
Norman Powell 3
Giannis Antetokounmpo 3
Serge Ibaka 3
Team Stats Summary
Toronto will play their next game on the road against Milwaukee. The Raptors have a W/L % of .620 after a win and .625 after a loss.
Milwaukee will play their next game at home against Toronto. The Bucks have a W/L % of .512 after a win and .513 after a loss.