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NBA PLAYOFFS -- Raptors advance after thrilling 92-89 Game 6 win


PhilBoxing.com




MILWAUKEE -- The Toronto Raptors squandered a 25-point lead but collected themselves late to win Game 6, 92-89, and clinch their series against a gutsy Milwaukee Bucks, 4-2 at the BMO Harris Bradley Center.

"We lost our composure a little bit. Again we found a way to (hold on). That's what good teams do," Toronto head coach Dwane told the Associated Press.

Up 71-46 at the 5:16 mark of the third quarter, the Raptors appeared on their way to a blowout on Thursday night when the never-say-die Bucks, cheered on wildly by a capacity crowd of 18,717, went on a 34-7 run to take an 80-78 advantage with still 3:08 left in the fourth quarter.

And then the Raptors went to work. Corey Joseph broke an 82-82 tie with a triple that pushed Toronto back on top by 3. A DeMar DeRozan dunk and two Joseph free throws put the Raptors comfortably ahead 89-92 with 33 ticks to go.

DeRozan almost singel-handedly carried Toronto's offense with 32 as only Kyle Lowry (13 points) scored in double figures. Serge Ibaka only had 7 points but he was a workhorse off the boards with 11 rebounds.

The Raptors, the 3 seed in the Eastern Conference, will meet the second-ranked Cleveland Cavaliers in the second round. That series begins on Monday night (Tuesday AM in Manila) at the Quicken Loans Arena.

Giannis Antetokounmpo played was the main man for Milwaukee with 34 points, 9 rebounds and 3 dimes. He shorted four free throws in the crucial stretch of his team's rally, looking clearly gassed after playing all but 1:21 of the game's 48 minutes.

Kris Middleton scored 19 for Milwaukee and Matthew Dellavedova added 12 and four assists.

Photo: DeMar DeRozan was clutch once again with 32 points in Toronto's series-clinching Game 6 win over the Bucks on Thursday.


Click here to view a list of other articles written by Maria Macatangay.


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