THE TORONTO RAPTORS ARE GOING TO MAKE THEIR FIRST NBA FINALS APPEARANCE IN FRANCHISE HISTORY AFTER DEFEATING THE MILWAUKEE BUCKS 100-94 IN GAME 6 OF THE EAST FINALS. THEY TAKE THE SERIES 4-2.
What an incredible effort from the Raptors, they come back from down 76-61 to outscore the Bucks 39-18 the rest of the way and close out with this historic win.
Raptors lead 100-94 with 3.9 seconds remaining. It’s happening, folks.
Kawhi makes both, he’s got 27 points and a playoff career-high 17 rebounds. What a performance.
SECOND FREE THROW ... MISSED BUT KAWHI GRABS THE REBOUND! THE RAPTORS LEAD 98-94 WITH 3.9 SECONDS REMAINING AND KAWHI HEADS TO THE LINE.
FIRST FREE THROW ... GOOD!
Pascal Siakam is fouled on the inbounds and heads to the line.
Middleton bats away an intended inbounds to Kawhi and there are now 7.5 seconds remaining.
The Raptors have used their final timeout after being unable to inbound the ball. BREATHE. (For what it’s worth, the Bucks have two timeouts remaining).
Officials stop play because the shot clock did not reset after Siakam rebounded his own miss so there are 7.9 seconds remaining and the Raptors have the ball with a 97-94 lead.
Gasol inbounds to Kawhi off the timeout, he dribbles out the clock with Middleton draped all over him before finding Siakam open underneath. Siakam misses but gets the offensive board and kicks the ball out to Lowry.
Lopez makes both free throws, three-point Toronto lead with 29.6 seconds to play. Brook has been great for the Bucks, by the way, with 18 points, nine rebounds and three blocks. Crucially, he’s missed all three of his attempts from beyond the arc.
Milwaukee responds with a stop of their own with some great defence on Kawhi before Lopez attacks Gasol off the bounce and gets to the line for two. 28.5 seconds remaining and Toronto still leads by five.
Siakam forces a turnover! Raptors lead 97-92 with possession and 54.3 seconds remaining.
Kawhi gets an offensive rebound after the Raptors play out the clock on a possession but loses the handle and the referees go to the review system. Bucks ball, Raptors lead 97-92 with 1:14 to play.
Siakam gets a big time putback for the Raptors after Kawhi attacks the rim. Then, the Raptors play unbelievable team defence before Siakam forces a Middleton airball with the shot clock winding down.
Kawhi bounce shot. He has the sweet touch on the rim yet again, a couple of bounces this time before a three-point attempt drops. Another offensive putback for the Bucks and it’s a three-point lead for the Raptors with 2:20 to play.
Marc Gasol hits a massive corner three for a four-point lead but Lopez answers yet again. Two-point game with 3:19 to go in what has been another thriller, what a series.
Kyle Lowry gets a huge bucket to go, willing his way past Khris Middleton on the right extended elbow before a tough finish over Brook Lopez. Lopez responds with a bucket off an offensive rebound so it’s still a one-point game.
Marc Gasol returns to the game for Serge Ibaka. It’s the starters except VanVleet for Green to close it out.
The Bucks are right back in it with a 7-0 run to make it 87-86 Raptors with 5:19 left. All life is suffering.
KAWHI LEONARD DUNKS ON GIANNIS ANTETOKOUNMPO WITH THE LEFT HAND! Raptors lead 87-79 with 6:46 to play.
Fred VanVleet again! He hits a step back three with the shot clock winding down to push the Raptors lead to five with eight minutes to play before Giannis continues his free throw struggles by making 1-of-2. 83-79 Raptors.
Tie game!! VanVleet continues to excel and slithers his way for an easy layup, Powell bangs a three and Ibaka throws down the hammer to knot things up at 78. Make that a 17-2 run for the Raptors to square this bad boy up.
Third quarter (Raptors take the frame 28-26)
It’s a 10-0 run for the Raptors to close the quarter and it’s all thanks to Kawhi. That was from The Claw in what was an incredible display of sheer will and determination to bring his team within five heading into the final quarter. Just. KaWow.
Kawhi comes alive. A tough drive plus the foul, a pull-up jumper, an assist for an Ibaka layup and a drawn foul on a three-point shot. He heads to the line for three with the Raptors trailing 76-68.
Kyle Lowry picks up his fourth foul with 3:02 to play in the quarter and the Raptors trailing 72-60. Remember, he fouled out in Game 3 of this series, will definitely need to be careful the rest of the way. We’ll see if that impacts the aggression he’s shown thus far.
While we wait, here’s a look at the celebs in the house for the big game, including former Raptor Bismack Biyombo.
What an incredible response from the Bucks. An 8-0 run pushes their lead back up to 13 including a back-breaking three from Middleton fading away with the clock winding down. It’s a 65-52 advantage as Nick Nurse is forced to call timeout and barks at the officials over some whistles he would have liked. 5:47 to play.
Gasol takes and makes a shot! The Spaniard hits a three from the corner off a Kawhi kick-out to make it a 57-52 game, 8:19 left. Bucks call timeout, they have bent without breaking thus far.
The scariest part at this point in the game for the Raptors is the fact that Giannis is making his jumpers. He’s got two 3-pointers and another mid-range shot as well, 15 points for the game.
Gasol has yet to attempt a shot while Green is 0-for-4, in case you’re wondering.
Bucks coach Mike Budenholzer picks up a technical foul after Eric Bledsoe doesn’t receive a call on a drive but Kawhi misses the free throw.
Second quarter (Raptors take the quarter 25-19)
Milwaukee scores the final four points of the quarter to carry a seven-point lead into halftime. Toronto will feel they’re right there after trailing by as many as 15 in the second quarter, though, and there was a much better rhythm to their offence after a sluggish first quarter.
We have ourselves a game! The Raptors are getting hot from the outside and cut the Bucks lead to 46-43 on a VanVleet three. That’s a 20-8 run for Toronto to get back in it and Steady Freddy is 3-for-4 from beyond the arc.
It’s getting dicey for the Raptors at centre now, Ibaka also has three fouls with 2:15 remaining.
Gasol is forced to check out of the game with 3:34 remaining after picking up his third foul. Bucks lead 41-32.
Here come the Raptors. Milwaukee’s lead is cut to seven with some great playmaking from Lowry. First, he attacks the heart of the Bucks defence, bodies off Brook Lopez (yes, you read that right) and finishes with a layup. Then, he penetrates once again before assisting Siakam for a finish at the rim. To force a Bucks timeout, he slices through the defence again, kicks out to Siakam, who makes a move towards the rim and earns two free-throws.
6:22 remaining and Milwaukee is holding steady at 38-26. Leonard’s decision making hasn’t been crisp with four turnovers, but he just made a timely pass to Siakam in the corner for a three as he drove towards the basket.
The Bucks now have five offensive rebounds to the Raptors’ zero, 19 total rebounds to the Raptors’ eight. Their season is on the line and their intensity and effort is reflecting it.
Leonard picks up his second foul with 9:29 remaining, Gasol checks out for Siakam. Bucks lead 35-23.
Kawhi is back in to start the second quarter alongside Gasol, VanVleet, Ibaka and Powell. Bucks going with Bledsoe, Middleton, Brogdon, Ilyasova and Lopez.
First quarter ( Bucks take the quarter 31-18)
Oh no! The Bucks close the first quarter on a 15-2 run to take a commanding 31-18 lead. Malcolm Brogdon has been great with eight points on a perfect 3-for-3, Ersan Ilyasova and George Hill have popped up with 10 points off the bench and Giannis looks dangerous. He’s only got five points but four rebounds, two assists, two steals and a block. The Raptors have their work cut out for them, not unlike Game 5.
Fred VanVleet and Serge Ibaka check into the game for Marc Gasol and Kawhi Leonard, Kyle Lowry maintains his aggressive start with a trip to the line and making both. Bucks lead 21-18 with 2:50 to play.
Stormin’ Norman! Powell, checking in for the dismal Green, grabs a rebound and races down the court for an and-1 bucket that ties the game at 16. Nick Nurse quickly calls timeout though as the Bucks come back with five straight points of their own.
After Milwaukee jumped out to a 14-6 lead, the Raptors quickly bring it back to 14-11 with five minutes remaining thanks to Kyle Lowry. He sticks a three in the face of Khris Middleton and then bats the ball away twice on the defensive end, the second one leading to a Kawhi Leonard breakaway and two free throws.
Strategically, the Bucks have come out looking the same as Game 5, matching up Brook Lopez on Pascal Siakam defensively, and Giannis Antetokounmpo on Marc Gasol.
Bucks lead 9-6 with 7:44 remaining in the first quarter at the first timeout. Khris Middleton looks eager to atone for his Game 5 dud with two early threes. Danny Green can’t buy a bucket right now, missing two wide open shots from the corner.
Hello and welcome to Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Finals where the Toronto Raptors carry a 3-2 series lead and will look to close out the Milwaukee Bucks on their home floor.
The Bucks didn’t lose three games in a row all season and, after leading 2-0, are now dealing with the most adversity they’ve faced all campaign. Toronto, meanwhile, is 7-2 on their home floor these playoffs and have consistently improved as each series has gone along.
The winner of the best-of-seven series will advance to face the Golden State Warriors in the NBA Finals.
Patrick McCaw has returned to the Raptors after leaving for personal reasons, but is still listed as out.
Malcolm Brogdon will continue to start for the Bucks in place of Nikola Mirotic and the Raptors will continue with their same starting lineup.
Kawhi Leonard needs 11 points to pass Jonas Valanciunas for third all-time in playoff scoring for the Raptors, behind Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan.
More Raptors coverage from Yahoo Sports