Antetokounmpo scores 28 points, Bucks beat Raptors 97-83

It wasn't just Kyle Lowry's dismal shooting (2-of-11) or Jonas Valanciunas' terrible defense (he continually lost track of his man); it was that the Raptors never figuring out how to adjust to the Bucks' energy or scheme.

The series starts Saturday in Toronto with a 4:30 p.m. game.

The Bucks do have something to take into the opener of the best-of-seven series at the Air Canada Centre on Saturday.

Antetokounmpo's layup to open the second quarter gave the Bucks a 10-point lead, but the Raptors hit back and a driving finger roll by DeRozan had Toronto up by three points.

They have now lost first-round openers at home to Brooklyn, Washington, Indiana and Milwaukee - toss in a second-round loss to Miami past year to make it five - and while it's well and good that they rallied to win two of those series, it has to be seen as a troubling trend. The Bucks, on the other hand, got big contributions from Matthew Dellavedova (11 points) and Greg Monroe (14 points and 15 rebounds). Jonas Valanciunas had nine points and nine rebounds. He was even outdone by rookie Malcolm Brogdon (16 points, 4-of-7 from three).

That put him 14th in total scoring, 15th in rebounding, 18th in assists, fifth in blocks and ninth in steals.

It's no secret the Toronto Raptors are cursed when it comes to winning game one of the playoffs.

Monroe's layup opened the fourth quarter to give Milwaukee a seven-point lead.

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"He's totally different than anything else in our league", Casey said.

"Yesterday I was standing by my office and P.J. and Serge were arguing with Rex (Raptors assistant coach Kalamian) about something and coach (Dwane) Casey comes up and says 'Those guys are talking about defence.' That tells you what they're about". "We're a young team and it starts with playing hard and trusting one another, and they did that this evening".

The Raptors could not have made the night more hard on themselves. Both players struggled with their shooting early in the 2015-16 postseason as the #2 seeded Raptors barely got by the Pacers in the first round a year ago in 7 games. Let's say that the 30 National Basketball Association teams each played 10 guys per night. Milwaukee is ranked #20 in points per game and are #13 in offensive rating.

They also need more production from their bench.

Bucks: Milwaukee shot 7 for 21 in the second.

The Raptors (51-31) are one of the hottest teams as they won 12 of their last 14 games including a 98-83 win over the Cavaliers to close out the regular season. Toronto was unable to capitalize on his absence and the Bucks outscored the Raptors 11-5 to end the quarter up 75-70. "I thought our guys did a great job of sharing the ball, the ball wasn't sticking and they didn't care who shot it or who made the shot, it was about making the right play. You just want to make it as tough as possible on them and I thought Thon did that in the second half". Toronto kept missing shots and failed to get back and defend in transition. Three years ago, they were unable to slow down Joe Johnson of the Brooklyn Nets. As he has done all season long, Antetokounmpo is going to have to put on his superhero cape for the Bucks to take this series.

Ibaka scored again to pull the Raptors to within 10, injecting some hope into a Raptors crowd that was awash in red and black - thanks to a pre-game T-shirt giveaway - and included actor Ethan Hawke and rapper Talib Kweli, who performed at halftime.

Game 2 takes place Tuesday in Toronto, before the series shifts to Milwaukee on Thursday and Saturday.

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