Raptors even series behind DeRozan, Lowry

Despite dropping Game 2 to the Raptors 106-100 Tuesday, the young Bucks leave Toronto with their first-round playoff series tied.

"I've been in the trenches with him before", Casey said afterwards. That's just who he is.

"He's a competitor, he's a fighter. And we didn't. I thought they were the more desperate team tonight".

The threesome of Giannis Antetokounmpo (24/15/7), Khris Middleton (20/5/2) and Greg Monroe (18/4/1) did their best to steal another one on the road, but the dynamic duo of DeMar DeRozan (23/7/3) and Kyle Lowry (22/4/5) came to play for Toronto, shooting 15-of-30 from the floor combined in the victory. The Raptors gave their best Golden State Warriors impersonation from beyond the arc, shooting 14-of-29 (48.3 percent) after going 5-of-23 (21.7 percent) in Game 1.

Before Game 2, Lowry vowed to be more aggressive against the Bucks. "Put it this way, I guess I'm going to have to force shots", Lowry said. A dunk by Thon Maker trimmed the lead to five with six minutes to play. "We try to limit other guys from doing things but it's tough once he gets it going". I got to the free-throw line nine times (and made eight). "My teammates want me to be more aggressive, so I'm going to force some more shots". "I think we got the rotation".

While they couldn't snatch a second win away from home, Antetokounmpo said the Bucks had still managed to achieve something important.

There were plenty of doubters for Lowry to feed off between the two games, but his coach correctly predicted before the game that his all-star point guard would respond with a big game and he wasn't disappointed. "We got down, but they kept playing and we had an opportunity there". Game 3 will be played Thursday in Milwaukee. We got some great looks - the ball goes halfway down and comes out. Serge Ibaka scored 16 points for Toronto, Cory Joseph had 11, and Jonas Valanciunas added 10 points and 10 rebounds.

The Raptors strengthened their defense at the trade deadline, but without Lowry for most of the second half of the season, a top five offense fell out of the top ten and, per NBA.com, was 13th in the league in offensive efficiency, scoring 107.3 points per 100 possessions, and 25th in three-pointers made per game. Dellavedova had seven points.

"I'm not surprised because everybody's so locked in right now", said Butler, who added eight rebounds and eight assists.

Lowry aggressively attacked the basket the entire first half, getting to the line seven times and converting all seven free throws.

The Raptors opened the second quarter with an 8-2 run to lead by eight.

A three-pointer by Antetokounmpo tied the game at 100-100 with under two minutes remaining, setting the stage for a rip-roaring finale. Wright gave Casey the kind of pick-up he was looking for with three assists and some game-opening ball movement the Raptors were lacking.

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