NBA Playoffs 2019: Raptors vs. Bucks series schedule, results, scores, live stream, TV channel, dates, times, pick, odds
The second-seeded Raptors grabbed the series lead with a third straight win over the top-ranked Bucks
The Toronto Raptors are one win away from making the franchise's first-ever NBA Finals appearance, thanks to a gritty 105-99 Game 5 win over the Milwaukee Bucks on Thursday night at Fiserv Forum. Kawhi Leonard led the way for Toronto, as usual, with a game-high 35 points to go along with nine assists and seven rebounds.
He was aided by 21 huge bench points from point guard Fred VanVleet, who went 7-for-9 on 3-pointers on the night. Kyle Lowry added 17 points, seven rebounds and six assists in the win. The Bucks had five players score in double-figures, led by Giannis Antetokounmpo's 24 points. Eric Bledsoe added 20 points, while Malcolm Brogdon scored 18 points and pulled down 11 rebounds.
Game 6 is set for Saturday in Toronto, and you better believe the Scotiabank Arena crowd will be rocking as they try to power the Raptors to the NBA Finals.
Here's everything you need to know about the 2019 Eastern Conference finals:
No. 1 Milwaukee Bucks vs. No. 2 Toronto Raptors
How to watch Game 6
- Date: Saturday, May 25
- Time: 8:30 p.m. ET
- Location: Scotiabank Arena -- Toronto, Ontario, Canada
- TV channel: TNT
- Live stats: GameTracker
- Online streaming: fuboTV (try for free)
- Odds: Raptors -2 (over/under 213)
All Eastern Conference finals games will air on TNT. Games on TNT can be streamed via fuboTV (try it for free).
Playoff series schedule, results (Raptors lead series, 3-2)
*All times Eastern
- Game 1: Bucks 108, Raptors 100 (Box Score)
- Game 2: Bucks 125, Raptors 103 (Box Score)
- Game 3: Raptors 118, Bucks 112 -- 2OT (Box Score)
- Game 4: Raptors 120, Bucks 102 (Box Score)
- Game 5: Raptors 105, Bucks 99 (Box Score)
- Game 6 (at TOR): Sat., May 25, 8:30 p.m. -- TV: TNT
- Game 7* (at MIL): Mon., May 27, 8:30 p.m. -- TV: TNT
Odds and Analysis
Check Sportsline's NBA pick sheet for all your daily odds.
So who wins Raptors vs. Bucks? And which side of the spread can you bank on over 50 percent of the time? Visit SportsLine now to see which side of the Raptors vs. Bucks spread to jump on Thursday, all from the advanced model that's up more than $3,000 on top-rated NBA picks this season.
Raptors: When Masai Ujiri pulled the trigger on the blockbuster trade to acquire Kawhi Leonard last summer, he did so with the hope that Leonard would lead the Raptors to the playoff heights they'd been unable to reach with DeMar DeRozan. With Leonard set to become a free agent this summer, it was a huge risk. But now, after their star man's heroics in Game 7 against the Sixers, it's just one series away from paying off. If Leonard can up his game yet again and lead the Raptors past the Bucks, they'll reach the NBA Finals for the first time in franchise history.
Bucks: Much like the Raptors, the Bucks underwent plenty of change this summer. But instead of acquiring a top-five player in the league, they rebuilt around the one they already had. Mike Budenholzer arrived as the new head coach, retooled the Bucks' offense to provide spacing and shooting around Giannis Antetokounmpo and built an elite defense on the other end of the floor. Even those in charge in Milwaukee couldn't have expected things to go this well, as they earned the best record in the regular season and are now four wins away from their first trip to the Finals since 1974.
Matchups to watch
1. Giannis vs. Kawhi: This won't be a true one-on-one matchup, because even though they will guard each other at points, neither is their team's main defensive option against the other. Still, it's an important matchup in the sense that these are two of the five best players in the league, and they will define how this series plays out.
They are each two-way players capable of impacting the game on both sides of the ball, and though Leonard is more versatile on the offensive end, they each border on unstoppable at times. Neither team can expect to shut the other's star down, but the extent to which they can limit the damage they do will go a long way.
Each team needs their star to show up in a big way, but especially the Raptors, whose supporting cast has been unreliable at times throughout the first two rounds. If Leonard doesn't at least match Giannis, it's hard to see how the Raptors would advance.
2. Eric Bledsoe vs. Kyle Lowry: These two have had their fair share of struggles in the playoffs, both in the past and at times this season. But they're each vital to their team and when they play well, so does their team. In a series that will feature a number of key individual matchups, this is one of the most important.
During the four regular-season meetings between these two teams -- three of which were won by the Bucks -- Bledsoe was an absolute menace on the defensive end against Lowry. The Raptors point guard didn't make a single shot while being guarded by Bledsoe, going 0-of-11 over 122 possessions, according to the NBA's matchup data. That simply cannot happen in this series. As well as Kawhi Leonard has played, he needs help from his supporting cast, and Lowry in particular. Scoring isn't the only aspect of Lowry's game, but he needs to score more than the 6.3 points per game he did in the regular season meetings for the Raptors to have a chance.
3. Three-point shooting: Anyone who watched the Bucks on a frequent basis the past few seasons knew that the team needed to add more shooting around Giannis Antetokounmpo. Well, this season they went all in on that plan and developed one of the most potent 3-point attacks in the league, firing up nearly 40 3s per game in the regular season. In truth, they don't have many elite outside shooters but they have over half a dozen guys who are both willing and able to let it fly, and they can overwhelm teams when they get hot.
On the other side, the Raptors have a more balanced offense. They don't eschew the 3 in the way that the Spurs or Sixers do, but it isn't the focal point of their offense. Plus, they've been off the mark in the postseason, making just 32.7 percent of their attempts, which is by far the worst among the four remaining teams. They're going to have to start knocking down some shots from the outside though because as we saw in the Boston series, it's awfully tough to beat the Bucks when you can't hit 3s.
2019 Playoff Bracket
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