Raptors' Lowry bites back after slow start to down Bucks

TORONTO • Kyle Lowry was held to four points in the Toronto Raptors' Game One loss to the Milwaukee Bucks.

Raptors coach Dwane Casey knew that his All-Star point guard would be out to make amends on Tuesday in Game Two of the National Basketball Association's (NBA) Eastern Conference first-round play-off series.

"It's just his competitive edge," Casey said. "I've seen him in the trenches before, and he's always bounced back. It's just who he is, he's a fighter, a competitor, and I knew he wasn't going to (be) satisfied with the way he played in the first game."

Lowry responded with 22 points and scored the clinching basket, a step-back jumper with 8.9sec left to increase the lead to four, as the Raptors defeated the Bucks 106-100.

With the win, Toronto levelled the best-of-seven series at 1-1.

"Just play, go out there and make my shots, being aggressive," Lowry said.

"My team-mates challenged, like I said before. I got to the free-throw line nine times (and made eight). I got aggressive early, and then in the second half, DeMar got himself going."

DeMar DeRozan led the Raptors with 23 points and hit the go-ahead basket with 1min 43sec to play after the Bucks tied the game.

Serge Ibaka added 16 points for Toronto, Cory Joseph had 11 and Jonas Valanciunas contributed 10 points and 10 rebounds.

"We did a better job of moving the basketball," Casey said. "They are a long team, we had to do a better job of spacing, creating space with screens, zip passes.

"You can't just throw as my college coach used to say, 'dying quail passes'. I thought we did a better job with on-time, on-target passes."

Giannis Antetokounmpo led Milwaukee with a game-high 24 points and 15 rebounds. Khris Middleton added 20 points, Greg Monroe had 18, and Tony Snell scored 14.

"I think we definitely gained some things out of these two games," Antetokounmpo said.

"I think we got the rotation. We did what we were supposed to, we played hard. They had some leads, we came back. We had a chance to take the lead and the ball didn't go in. We did the right things, we had the right plays."

In the only Western Conference game on Tuesday, the Los Angeles Clippers levelled their series against the Utah Jazz at 1-1, leading wire-to-wire in a 99-91 triumph.

The Jazz were without their defensive stalwart Rudy Gobert again and, in his absence, the Clippers out-scored the Jazz in the paint 60-38.

REUTERS, AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 20, 2017, with the headline 'Raptors' Lowry bites back after slow start to down Bucks'. Print Edition | Subscribe