NBA playoffs 2019: 3 takeaways from Bucks’ dominant Game 2 win over Raptors

Giannis Antetokounmpo (left), Serge Ibaka

The Bucks had an early advantage they would never relinquish and took a 2-0 series advantage.

The Bucks ran away with Game 2 against the Raptors.

Milwaukee had to come from behind to win just days ago to open the Eastern Conference finals at the Fiserv Forum. But this time around, there was no coming back — or even looking back — as the Bucks won 125-103.

“I think mentally we were ready for this game,” Giannis Antetokounmpo said.

The team entered Game 1 after a week of rest and felt a little rusty, which certainly wasn’t the case Friday.

The Bucks’ winning efforts were led by MVP hopeful Antetokounmpo, who finished with 30 points and got some help from the usual, and new, bench players.

Antetokounmpo’s talent was on full display both offensively and defensively, as he grabbed 17 rebounds and recorded two blocks.

The Raptors looked to just two players for the bulk of their points — Kawhi Leonard (31 points) and Kyle Lowry (15) — and got little help from everyone else.

The Bucks had an early advantage they would never relinquish and took a 2-0 series advantage as the teams prepare for Game 3 at Scotiabank Arena.

Here are three takeaways from the Bucks’ Game 2 win:

There was absolutely no stopping the Bucks

Milwaukee led from the opening minutes when it went on a 9-0 run. Toronto knew it would need to weather the storm of a dominant first quarter, but it didn’t stop there.

The Bucks continued to build their lead and at the half, were up by 25 points. They were beating the Raptors in every category, shooting better, grabbing rebounds and not making costly mistakes. It was a welcome performance after Game 1 when the Bucks shot 39.8% from the field and just 25% from 3-point range.

In Game 2, Milwaukee finished 46.7% (43 of 92) from the field and 31.7% (13 of 41) from long distance.

Unlike the first game, where the Bucks had to come from behind to win with Antetokounmpo having an off night, they easily took this on their home court.

Bucks bench continues to help lift team

In Game 1 versus the Raptors, Malcolm Brogdon finished with 15 points off the bench. Brogdon was again a key role player as he netted 14 points Friday but this time, he was joined by another Buck.

Ersan Ilyasova had an impressive outing with 17 points. It was his second-best game in the 2018-19 season, behind a 19-point performance in November.

The 32-year-old forward was the second-leading scorer for Milwaukee off 7-of-11 shooting and making two of his five 3-point attempts. Still, he wasn’t the only player to chip in off the bench.

George Hill also finished in double-digits (13 points) and three more players had at least two.

It’s becoming more clear: The Raptors can’t beat the Bucks

Toronto needed more than Leonard if it wanted a chance against Milwaukee on Friday. Leonard, who played the one-man band, didn’t get that help and if the Raptors want to stay in this series, they’ll need to find the help. Soon.

Pascal Siakam, the team’s second-leading scorer, had just eight points and fouled out with a little more than four minutes left in the game.

When Leonard and Lowry did finally get rest, Toronto’s bench didn’t do much. Norman Powell chipped in 14 points while Serge Ibaka, who was primed to have a big night, had just eight.

Leonard, Lowry and Powell were the only players to score 10 or more points and that just won’t cut it against the Antetokounmpo-led Bucks.

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