Lowry has 25, Raptors rout Bucks 120-102 to even East finals
TORONTO — Kyle Lowry scored 25 points, Kawhi Leonard had 19 and the Toronto Raptors beat the Milwaukee Bucks 120-102 on Tuesday night to even the Eastern Conference finals at two games apiece.
Serge Ibaka had 17 points and 13 rebounds for the Raptors, who improved to 7-2 at home this postseason. Reserve Norm Powell scored 18 points, and Marc Gasol had 17 points and a team-high seven assists.
The home team has won all four games in the series so far. Game 5 is Thursday night in Milwaukee.
Giannis Antetokounmpo had 25 points and 10 rebounds for the top-seeded Bucks. Khris Middleton scored 30 points.
Milwaukee lost its second straight following a six-game winning streak. It dropped consecutive games just once during the regular season, at Utah on March 2 and at Phoenix on March 4.
Toronto’s Fred VanVleet, who missed 16 of 20 shot attempts through the first three games of the series, went 5 for 6 from the field in Game 4. He made each of his three 3-point tries and finished with 13 points.
Ahead 94-81 to start the fourth, the Raptors extended their lead with a 10-3 spurt, including seven points from VanVleet. Powell’s fast-break layup with 8:35 left put Toronto up 104-84.
Antetokounmpo shot 5 for 8 in the opening frame, matching the number of made baskets he had during Milwaukee’s double-overtime loss in Game 3. However, the Bucks star went 4 for 9 the rest of the way.
Leonard missed three of his four attempts in the first but Lowry scored 12 points for the Raptors, who rallied from an early seven-point deficit to lead 32-31 after one.
After scoring the final four points of the first quarter, the Raptors widened their lead with a 9-0 run to begin the second. Ibaka’s dunk with 9:56 to go gave Toronto a 41-31 lead.
Leonard and Pascal Siakam, who both played more than 50 minutes in Game 3, looked sluggish in the opening half. Leonard missed the only shot he took in the second, while Siakam played fewer than three minutes in the second after picking up his third foul. Siakam had two points at halftime.
Leonard came up limping after dunking against Antetokounmpo early in the third, but remained in the game. Moments later, Siakam completed a three-point play that put Toronto up 73-60 with 8:43 left. Leonard played through leg soreness in Game 3.
Ilyasova missed a 3 with 3:50 remaining in the third that could have cut the deficit to four points. Powell replied with a 3 and, following miss by Malcolm Brogdon, Leonard drained a jumper to push Toronto’s lead to 86-74.
Bucks: Middleton missed his first attempt of the game, and then made the next eight in row. He finished 11 for 15. … Antetokounmpo air-balled his first free-throw attempt in the first quarter. … Brogdon shot 0 for 5 in the first half and missed seven straight before connecting late in the third. He finished 2 for 11.
Raptors: Lowry scored 12 of Toronto’s first 17 points. He finished 10 for 10 at the line. … The Raptors are 4-0 on Tuesdays in these playoffs. … Toronto outscored Milwaukee 28-6 on bench points in the first half. The Raptors finished with a 48-23 advantage in bench scoring.