Refusing to Break

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Raptors Survive in Double OT, Take Game 3 from Milwaukee Bucks

Kyle Lowry fouled out.

So did Norman Powell.

And Drake seemed like he has been enjoying the Toronto sunlight and tanning salons a little bit too much.

Despite everything, the Toronto Raptors refused to break, continuing to grind for their playoff lives en route to a nail-biting double-overtime victory. In a game in which the Raptors performed far better, for the most part, than the score suggested, the team that has persevered time and time again this season, pulled out yet another win, which should garner nothing but praise for their continued mental toughness. They did an incredible job slowing down Giannis Antetokounmpo and Khris Middleton and they made enough important shots to pull out the home win.

When the final buzzer sounded, the Raptors stood tall with a 118-112 win in hand and a crucial Game 3 victory, now only trailing the Bucks by one game in the series.

Once again, with their backs against the wall, a visibly-hobbled Kawhi Leonard came up huge, amassing 36 points on 11-for-25 shooting, being a key difference maker down the stretch.

“I’m feeling all right. This is playoff basketball,” Leonard said after the win. “Everybody’s hurting so I’ve just got to keep fighting.”

Not only did he hit clutch shot after clutch shot, but he also did an excellent job on the night, predominantly guarding Antetokounmpo who fouled out, but not before only scoring 12 points and turning the ball over eight times (but grabbing a career playoff-high 23 rebounds).

Similar to Game 2, Powell was vital for the Raptors in this one too, scoring 19 points and providing a much-needed spark off the bench on both ends of the court. Despite missing a couple of key free throws that nearly broke the hearts of the entire population of Canada, Siakam responded big tonight as well, scoring 25 points on 50-percent shooting, while pulling down 11 boards.

All things considered, it’s only one game, but it’s a big one and the Raptors must ride that momentum into Game 4 if they hope to tie up the series.

There are still definite concerns that must be cleared up. The Raptors continue to get heavily out-rebounded and their inability to protect the basketball has led to lapses in their fast break defense. On top of that, Danny Green and Fred VanVleet have both struggled to remain playable in this series.

It has been an unpredictable and nerve-racking playoffs for the Raptors faithful and Game 4 should be no different. On to Tuesday night!

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