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Bucks overwhelm Raptors 104-77, take 2-1 series lead

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John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports

The Milwaukee Bucks haven't won a playoff series since the 2000-01 campaign and can take another step toward ending their drought when they host the Toronto Raptors in Thursday's Game 3 of the Eastern Conference series.

It was ugly from the start.

While many pundits had picked the Raptors to advance with relative ease, it's been the Bucks who have made things look easy, Milwaukee taking a 2-1 lead into Saturday's crucial Game 4.

"They came out and threw the first punch", Raptors forward DeMarre Carroll said after the Bucks ran the Raptors right off the floor, winning 104-77 in a game that was over after the first quarter. Whether or not this is the case, though, it's more than likely that we'll see a dog fight in Game 4 and beyond. DeRozan was held without a field goal after three quarters and he combined with Kyle Lowry for only 18 points on a miserable 3-of-17 shooting from the field in that span. DeMar DeRozan is averaging 19.3 points and 5.7 rebounds while Serge Ibaka is averaging 13.7 points and two assists.

At once riding the energy of the crowd and giving it something to cheer about, Milwaukee - a team that feeds off emotion and gets amped up for the biggest games - raced out to a 9-2 lead, forcing a Toronto timeout that would prove utterly futile to solving any of its portending problems. So we had to match them, or otherwise we were going to get pummeled. It's unacceptable for a veteran team who is the higher seed to show such little sense of urgency, and turn in such a disgusting effort.

This night belonged to Milwaukee. Looking completely the part of a team broken and flustered, they fell fast into a 32-12 deficit and were never in Game 3.

Thursday night's Game 3 was over by the time the buzzer rang out the first quarter, with the Bucks carrying a 20-point lead and all-world superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo putting all doubts about whether he would rebound from a poor first half in Milwaukee's Game 2 loss to rest early on.

Recently, the Milwaukee Bucks stunned the basketball world, and specifically the Toronto Raptors.

Three games into the series and nothing about the Bucks has surprised Dwane Casey. He also hit both his three-point attempts, which helped expand the Bucks to the lead in the second quarter.

"I'm a young coach so I think we all fit with the experience level", Bucks coach Jason Kidd said. "Just an aggressive curl led to a score". They'd finish the game with just 11.

Milwaukee finally cooled off in the third, making only 6 of 14 shots, but the Raptors' offense couldn't shake out of its funk. Things happen, there's a side of me that's going to come out after I feel like I let my team down, and every individual out there feels the same way.

They won't have much time to regroup. "It's first to four", Lowry said. "When we take the floor, we understand we'll make mistakes, but we have to move on quickly to the next play and that comes with trust and communication".

"We can't talk about it, we can't make excuses about it, it's not the answer".

Like Game 1, the Raps struggled from beyond the arc (near halftime they were shooting 10 per cent from deep, compared to 60 per cent from the Bucks).

"The other night I thought [DeRozan] did an excellent job of finding the open person and kicking it out and the ball found him back".

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