Giannis Antetokounmpo expects the Milwaukee Bucks to show a positive response to their Game 3 setback against the Toronto Raptors but knows it will not be easy.

The Raptors reduced the Bucks' Eastern Conference finals lead to 2-1 with a 118-112 double overtime victory at Scotiabank Arena on Sunday.

Antetokounmpo could only muster 12 points and fouled out in the second overtime.

But the NBA MVP contender says the Bucks will not dwell on their defeat and believes they will come back stronger in Game 4 in Toronto on Tuesday.

He said: "We could be up 3-0. Double overtime, we didn't play well. But at the end of the day and it's not going to be easy.

"I've never been here before and I never expected it to be easy. As a team usually when we face adversity and lose a game, usually we come out and play way better. Hopefully we can do that for Game 4."

He added: "I don't think as a team we felt any frustration, obviously we wanted to get back to the game but they were just playing better than us.

"Whenever we got close they were hitting some shots, taking the lead back to seven or eight It wasn't our last game, we can get a lot better and that makes me really excited. 

"We've got to come back, focus on Game 4 and try to set the tone from the beginning."

Andre Iguodala was cleared of serious damage after undergoing an MRI scan on his calf, but the Golden State Warriors veteran is a doubt for Game 4 of the Western Conference Finals.

Iguodala departed after feeling tightness in his left calf in the opening quarter of a 110-99 victory over the Portland Trail Blazers on Saturday.

The 35-year-old guard's scan came back as negative, but he may not feature when the defending champions - who lead 3-0 - attempt to wrap up the series on Monday.

Head coach Steve Kerr says Alfonzo McKinnie is capable of stepping up if Iguodala is unavailable.

"We'll have to have more minutes from him, but we're confident he can do the job." said Kerr.

Stephen Curry echoed Kerr's sentiments.

He said: "Injuries are a part of the game, but we have guys that are capable and can step up. It will require Alfonzo having a few more minutes, Jonas [Jerebko], J.B. [Jordan Bell] playing the solid basketball he did on Saturday night."

Kawhi Leonard played down an apparent leg injury, insisting "this is playoff basketball" after helping the Toronto Raptors overcome the Milwaukee Bucks on Sunday.

Leonard led the way in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference finals as the Raptors topped the Bucks 118-112 in double overtime.

The Raptors star, however, appeared to injure his leg in Toronto after finishing a layup and was walking with a noticeable limp during the first half.

But Leonard – who scored 36 points in a game-high 52 minutes of action – remained in the game and dismissed the problem after the Raptors reduced the Bucks' series lead to 2-1.

"I'm feeling alright," Leonard told TNT. "This is playoff basketball. Everybody is hurting. Just have to keep fighting."

"I'm just confident in myself," Leonard said. "My team-mates are confident in me. I just go out there and play. I can live with the results because I'm giving 110 per cent out there."

Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo finished with 24 and 30 points respectively in the first two games of the series.

But, the Raptors limited the MVP candidate to just 12 points on Sunday. Antetokounmpo fouled out in the second overtime.

"It takes a team," Leonard said about defending Antetokounmpo. "He's a great basketball player. That's why he's an MVP finalist. We all have to just show hands and play hard.

"He's a great player. He plays hard and he's leading his team great."

The Raptors will have a chance to even the series at 2-2 at Scotiabank Arena on Tuesday before the matchup shifts back to Milwaukee for Game 5.

"I've got to look at some film," Leonard said. "Right now, I'm going to enjoy this win. We'll see what we have to do [Monday]."

The Toronto Raptors avoided going down 3-0 to the Milwaukee Bucks in the Eastern Conference finals on Sunday, but only just.

Toronto topped Milwaukee 118-112 in double overtime, cutting the Bucks' series lead to 2-1 in the important first leg of their home stand.

Here are three takeaways from the Raptors' statement win.

 

Toronto's role players figured it out

Kawhi Leonard has been carrying the Raptors for some time, but he got some extra help in Game 3. It came from Marc Gasol, Norman Powell and Pascal Siakam, who were instrumental in Toronto's victory.

The trio accounted for just 51 combined points in the first two games of the series. But, they rebounded on Sunday, posting 60 points between them.

Gasol realised he needed to be more aggressive and stop passing up open looks. After tallying just eight points through the first two games, he managed to finish with 16 points and four made three-pointers.

It is clear Toronto will need similar levels of productivity moving forward to keep their season alive.

 

Giannis Antetokounmpo was swarmed relentlessly

Antetokounmpo has averaged more than 37 points per game in his past three road playoff games, but Toronto had a surprise for him in Scotiabank Arena.

Milwaukee's star was blitzed in the paint repeatedly and was held to 12 points on five-of-16 shooting. It was clear the Raptors' plan was to force him and others to shoot from the perimeter, and it worked out. 

Antetokounmpo went on to foul out in the second overtime of his underwhelming performance.

The Raptors are getting virtually nothing from Danny Green

Green is not having a good series against the Bucks

The sharpshooter has made just four field goals in the Eastern Conference finals so far. While he was one of the NBA's most prolific scorers from behind the arc in 2018-19, Green is shooting 28.6 per cent from three-point range against Milwaukee.

But he did hit a big-time three-pointer in overtime when his team needed it.

Green is an excellent defensive player and has recorded five steals in the series, but Toronto cannot afford empty minutes offensively. That was made evident when they left him off the court down the stretch in regulation.

Portland Trail Blazers star Damian Lillard is not worried about his injury.

Lillard, who has been playing through a separated rib on his left side against the Golden State Warriors in the Western Conference finals, told reporters on Sunday he feels "fine".

"I don't think it's something that's affecting my game," Lillard told reporters.

"Not really [limiting], just the pain from having a separated rib. There's nothing you can really do about it. Just when I get winded, it's a little harder to breathe. Contact, when you're in there banging with guys, just normal stuff."

Lillard appeared to suffer the injury when he collided with Kevon Looney in the third quarter of Game 2.

He then played 40 minutes in Game 3, scoring 19 points on five-of-18 shooting. 

The 28-year-old star has knocked down just 32.9 per cent of his field-goal attempts and turned the ball over 14 times in the series against the Warriors.

"There's not much you can do to increase my level of respect for him," backcourt partner CJ McCollum said.

"I understand who he is as a person to the core, so it's an unfortunate situation and injury to have to fight through, but he's a strong person, and understanding what's at stake.

"We're in the playoffs right now, so there's no excuses and there's no way I feel like he can sit out of a game or anything of that nature. So, we've just got to keep pushing forward, and as I said, we can rest in the summer."

The Trail Blazers held double-digit half-time leads in each of the past two games. But, the Warriors rallied and came away with wins in both of those matchups to take a 3-0 advantage.

"You look at the numbers and there's a slim chance of you winning the series like that, but we've got a lot to play for," Lillard said.

"Obviously you never know when the first time it's going to happen, we could be the first team to do it. Also, you don't want to go out being swept in the Western Conference finals. Pride, being competitors, being professionals, we've got a lot to play for. We're not ready to just go out there and say, 'Oh, we did our best, we had a great season.' We've got a lot to play for."

Game 4 between the Warriors and Trail Blazers is on Monday.

The Toronto Raptors won a double-overtime thriller against Milwaukee Bucks 118-112 in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference finals.

Kawhi Leonard and the Raptors reduced the Bucks' lead to 2-1 in the NBA playoff series thanks to Sunday's victory in Toronto.

Raptors star Leonard filled it up as usual, posting a game-high 36 points, but role players made all the difference in the contest.

Marc Gasol (16 points, 12 rebounds), Pascal Siakam (25 points) and Norman Powell (19 points) all had their best performances of the third round, combining for a much needed 60 points.

The game was very physical, as Powell, Kyle Lowry and Bucks superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo fouled out. 

In the end, Leonard was too much for a Bucks team without Antetokounmpo, scoring eight points in the second overtime to help his team pull ahead.

Antetokounmpo was suffocated by Toronto's defense all night until he fouled out in the second overtime. The MVP finalist was held to 12 points on five-of-16 shooting and could not quite overcome the Raptors' double teams.

Toronto have a chance to defend home court again on Tuesday in their attempt to tie the series at 2-2.

Terry Stotts thinks effort will be more important than strategy when the Portland Trail Blazers try to avoid being swept by the Golden State Warriors in the Western Conference Finals.

The Warriors moved 3-0 up in the series with a 110-99 victory over the Trail Blazers on Saturday, Stephen Curry scoring 36 points while Draymond Green claimed a triple-double.

Portland held an 18-point lead in the second quarter but added just 13 in the third as Golden State came from behind to move one win away from a fifth straight NBA Finals appearance.

Stotts felt the Trail Blazers offense "fell apart" in the second half and called for improved energy levels in Game 4 at Moda Center on Monday.

"We're going to give it our best effort on Monday. I mean, that's all that matters, is we give it our best effort. We give it everything we have on Monday, and whatever happens, happens," said Stotts.

"But that's [about] having the pride and professionalism to give it the best effort and to get a home win, and then go from there.

"I don't know if it's as much about strategy as about just rallying around and giving it the best effort possible."

Portland overcame the Oklahoma City Thunder in the first round before beating the Denver Nuggets in Game 7 in the semi-finals, and C.J. McCollum, who scored a team-high 23 points on seven-of-20 shooting, is excited by the prospect of an all-or-nothing match.

"You never want a series to end, especially in your home court. Everybody on this team has pride," said McCollum.

"Everybody on this team understands what's at stake, and we've been through a lot of adversity this season and in our lives individually. We're looking forward to the challenge.

"We dug ourselves in quite a hole but now for us it's just one game at a time. The next game is Monday at home in front of our fans and we want to do our best to try to put on a good show."

Damian Lillard added: "It starts with one. We've still got another game on our floor, and that's a solid start for us.

"We can't look at Game 5 or Game 6 or any of that. We've just got to get one. We're confident that we can do that and then once we do that, we build from there."

Golden State Warriors star Draymond Green has made changes to his on-court demeanour because he believes it had become "disgusting" to watch him play.

Green produced a phenomenal display as the Warriors took a 3-0 lead in the Western Conference Finals with a 110-99 victory over the Portland Trail Blazers, who had an 18-point late in the second quarter, on Saturday.

The fiery 2017 NBA Defensive Player of the Year had 20 points, 13 rebounds, 12 assists and four steals for his seventh playoff triple-double and third this postseason.

Green has a history of arguing with officials and was involved in a public argument with team-mate Kevin Durant during an overtime loss to the Los Angeles Clippers in November, but the three-time All-Star took a more measured approach with Jordan Bell after the center missed a dunk with the Warriors trailing by eight in the third quarter.

Head coach Steve Kerr referred to Green as a "wrecking ball" following his galvanising performance and said he is not letting anything bother him, something the Golden State forward has been working on.

"I think it [avoiding confrontation with the officials] definitely helps the energy of guys. I still like to pick and choose my spots. Sometimes I may take a tech, but that's more mindful than just getting a tech. Sometimes I know I need an energy burst; maybe I'll take one," said Green.

"But sometimes I'm not mindful, and I'll get a tech and that will just kill the energy of our team. I've really been focused and locked in on that and I realised I got to a point where I was doing more crying than playing.

"I'm sure it was disgusting to watch because I felt disgusting playing that way, and I just wanted to lock back in on the game.

"I understand that officials aren't perfect and I still have conversations with them now, when they miss a call, but it's a completely different conversation.

"My mom has been really big. My fiancee has been really big, just talking to me about that and just telling me to stay locked in on the game.

"I also have some little ones at the house that are enjoying watching me play. I don't necessarily want them to see that. So [I] just try to be more mindful of it."

Green, who was in double digits for rebounds for the eighth game in succession, was key as he consistently pushed the ball in transition, but he is willing to take a back seat when Durant and DeMarcus Cousins return from their respective calf and thigh injuries.

"I feel great, and just trying to bring whatever I've got to bring to the table to help this team win, to help DeMarcus [Cousins] and Kevin get back out there on the floor," he said.

"When we have Steph [Stephen Curry], Klay [Thompson], KD, DeMarcus, I don't need to play like that. As crazy as it sounds, somebody has to give up something when you have that many guys who are capable of doing what they are doing.

"I take it upon myself to be the guy to give that up. I think I'm playing great right now but I'm not the scorer that those four guys are.

"If I'm wide open and Klay is half open, I think it's still a better shot if I give the ball to Klay. That's just my mindset where we got all our guys on the floor but when they are not, I have to have a different mindset to step up for the team, as everyone has stepped up their game a notch."

Golden State Warriors coach Steve Kerr believes Draymond Green has never played with more control as he lauded the forward's form.

Green posted a triple-double of 20 points, 13 rebounds and 12 assists in the Warriors' 110-99 win over the Portland Trail Blazers on Saturday.

The Warriors moved into a 3-0 lead in the Western Conference finals, putting them a win away from reaching a fifth straight NBA Finals.

Kerr was full of praise for Green, who is a three-time NBA All-Star.

"He's done so much here, it's hard to look back and say what's the best, what's his best stretch," he told a news conference.

"I just know he's playing unbelievably well right now. He's playing with force. He's playing with discipline. He's playing under control.

"He's not letting anything bother him – officiating, bad shots, turnovers, he's just moving on to the next play. So from that standpoint, as good as he's ever been."

The Warriors are in control of the Western Conference finals despite being without Kevin Durant throughout the series due to the star's calf injury.

Kerr believes the absence of Durant may be helping Green by giving the 29-year-old more opportunities.

"I think the biggest thing is he has the ball in his hands a lot more. With Kevin out, he's a guy who was averaging 34-35 points a game in the playoffs when he went out. I think the best player in the NBA right now, Kevin Durant," he said.

"So Kevin obviously is going to have the ball in his hands an awful lot. He goes down and all of a sudden that changes the responsibility of a few different players.

"It provides more opportunities for the bench, but it puts the ball in Draymond's hands a lot more."

Andre Iguodala will undergo an MRI as the Golden State Warriors determine the extent of his "lower leg soreness", head coach Steve Kerr said.

Veteran Iguodala, 35, hurt his leg in Golden State's 110-99 win over the Portland Trail Blazers in Game 3 of the Western Conference finals.

The three-time champion initially left in the opening quarter of Saturday's clash in Portland and he was eventually withdrawn in the third as the Warriors earned a commanding 3-0 series lead.

"We didn't want to risk anything and put him pack in the game," Kerr told reporters, with the Warriors one win away from the NBA Finals.

"So when we took him out mid third [quarter], the trainer said 'that'll be it for him.' We'll know more tomorrow [Sunday]."

Iguodala posted just two points in the contest on one-of-five shooting in 18 minutes against the Trail Blazers.

The 2015 NBA Finals MVP came into Game 3 averaging 10.6 points, 4.2 rebounds and 4.1 assists in this year's playoffs. He tallied just 5.7 points per game during the regular season.

 

The Golden State Warriors are approaching a Western Conference finals sweep.

Two-time reigning champions Golden State topped the Portland Trail Blazers 110-99 in a Game 3, extending their lead in the series to 3-0.

Here are three takeaways from Golden State's comeback win on Saturday, with another trip to the NBA Finals only one victory away.

 

Trail Blazers can't hold a lead

Portland led by double-digits at half-time for the second consecutive game, but blew their lead to the defending champions again.

Last time the Trail Blazers' blunder was at Oracle Arena, but home-court advantage made no difference.

Golden State have been the best third-quarter team during the NBA season, and now Portland have their back against the wall.

 

Golden State owning the break

The Warriors have been very fluid in transition against the Trail Blazers, as they have outscored Portland 53-23 in the series.

Golden State only allowed Portland eight fast-break points on the night, but recorded 21 of their own. The Warriors held the Blazers to a measly two fast-break points in Game 1.

The Trail Blazers are not getting any freebies, and that probably will not change.

 

Green has his fingerprints on everything

Draymond Green is simply a difference maker in every area for the Warriors. The 2016-17 Defensive Player of the Year has seen an uptick in usage in the absence of Kevin Durant, and Golden State seem to have returned to the days of old because of it.

Green stuffed that stat sheet with 20 points, 13 rebounds, 12 assists, four steals and a block against Portland. Although he committed three fouls, he helped set the tone with his usual physicality. He also provided valuable leadership qualities to keep his team in the hunt.

The Trail Blazers will attempt to get their first win of the series on in Portland on Monday.

Two-time reigning champions the Golden State Warriors are one win away from the NBA Finals after defeating the Portland Trail Blazers 110-99 on Saturday.

Golden State used a Draymond Green triple-double and a third-quarter comeback to top the Trail Blazers in Portland for a commanding 3-0 lead in the Western Conference finals.

After trailing by 13 points at half-time in Game 3, the Warriors outscored the Trail Blazers 29-13 in the third quarter to take a lead into the final frame they would never relinquish.

Over the last two games, Golden State – playing without injured star Kevin Durant due to a calf strain – have outscored Portland 68-39 and erased double-digit deficits in each of those outings.

The Trail Blazers' free-throw shooting absolutely destroyed their chances down the stretch as they missed 13 free throws in the clash.

Warriors star Stephen Curry posted a game-high 36 points while adding six rebounds and three assists for the visitors, while team-mate Green had 20 points, 13 rebounds, 12 assists and four steals.

The Trail Blazers face elimination when they host the Warriors again in Game 4 on Monday.

Nick Nurse wants the Toronto Raptors "to play their a** off in Game 3" as they look to stay alive in the Eastern Conference finals.

The second-seeded Raptors trail the high-flying Milwaukee Bucks 2-0 in the NBA playoff series following Friday's comprehensive 125-103 defeat.

Raptors head coach Nurse was told on Saturday that 93 per cent of teams down two games in a series go on to lose and joked: "That can't be right. Check the figures."

Nurse then made a request for the Raptors just a day removed from their demoralising defeat in Milwaukee, with the series moving to Toronto on Sunday.

"I don't really give a crap about that," he said. "I just want our team to play their a** off in Game 3, get a win and that changes the series."

The Raptors were close to winning Game 1 at Fiserv Forum on Wednesday but a fourth-quarter surge from the Bucks led to Milwaukee winning 108-100. 

The rusty Bucks came back Friday to completely dominate the Raptors, thanks to another stellar performance from MVP finalist Giannis Antetokounmpo.

Toronto are being carried by Kawhi Leonard. The Raptors star is not receiving much help from others – including the team's second-leading scorer Serge Ibaka, who could see a starting role if Nurse decides to change the line-up in an effort to revive the team's chances in the series.

"You think certain series aren't for certain guys, et cetera, but I also think that we've gotten, we've had bad biorhythms a couple times, maybe three or four times in the playoffs, and then the next game our biorhythms were back intact," Nurse added.

"So I kinda trust these guys, know who they are, believe in 'em, and know they're better than they played last night and have shown that on bounce-back situations usually."

Kawhi Leonard wants the Toronto Raptors to prove their championship calibre by responding to back-to-back defeats against the Milwaukee Bucks with a win in Game 3.

The Bucks took a 2-0 lead in the Eastern Conference finals with a 125-103 blowout of the Raptors at Fiserv Forum on Friday, MVP candidate Giannis Antetokounmpo contributing 30 points, 17 rebounds and five assists.

Milwaukee began the game with a 9-0 run and took a 28-point lead early in the third quarter, though Toronto reduced the deficit to 13 later in the period.

However, the Raptors were unable to stop Mike Budenholzer's team surging back to seal a resounding triumph and Leonard is keen to see a response in Toronto on Sunday.

"If we want to do anything, if we want to be a championship team, we've got to play through adversity. It's a challenge now to come home in Game 3 and try to get a win," said Leonard, who scored 31 points.

Asked how the Raptors let the game get away from them so early, he responded: "A couple of turnovers, missing wide open shots, they got out in transition. We started the game and Giannis got an offensive rebound putback and those are one of our key emphases to try to limit them, and they came out with a 9-0 run.

"It's very tough [to stop], especially on the road. When you get down in a hole, down 15 points in the first quarter, when you're on the road it's tough to come back in that game.

"They've got adrenaline running, they're feeling confident, just got to try to lock in and chip it down point by point and see what happens."

Game 1 proved a much closer affair as the Bucks triumphed 108-100, and Raptors coach Nick Nurse wants a repeat of the effort displayed in the series opener.

"We didn't play very well tonight, and we did play pretty well in Game 1," said Nurse.

"They've done what they're supposed to do and protect their home court, and we've got to go now and do the same and get ourselves back in the series.

"But it's got to be more of an effort like Game 1 than tonight because, again, we were just uphill for almost three quarters tonight.

"We've got to continue to work the offense for shots. And again, I sound like a broken record up here, but we had our share of wide-open shots that could have at least stymied a little bit of the breakout in the score. But we've got to make sure we continue to work for them.

"We just weren't quite physical enough. We weren't getting our screens set good enough. We weren't getting them off their screens good enough as well.

"We're going to have to be better or they're just going to look bigger and stronger than we are, and I don't necessarily think that's the case. We've got to play a little tougher."

Point guard Kyle Lowry, who scored 15 points off four-of-13 shooting, emphasised the need for Toronto to improve on the glass after they were out-rebounded 53-40.

"They got 17 points after second-chance shots. That definitely will hurt you. It's not a back-breaker; we've just got to be a little bit more physical rebounding the ball," said Lowry.

"We know that they're going to crash a little bit more. But when we get out-rebounded, we don't get to play the way we need to play. We've got to do a better job of rebounding the basketball. They had 11 offensive rebounds - way too many. Those are things we can clean up.

"Now we've got a chance to go home and protect home court and do what we're supposed to do."

MVP candidate Giannis Antetokounmpo said he enjoys leading the way after helping the Milwaukee Bucks earn a 2-0 lead over the Toronto Raptors in the Eastern Conference finals.

The high-flying Bucks took control of the NBA playoff series thanks to Friday's 125-103 rout of the Raptors in Game 2 in Milwaukee.

Antetokounmpo – one of three finalists for the MVP award – posted 30 points and 17 rebounds and the Greek star revelled in the result.

"I think mentally we were ready for this game," Antetokounmpo, who is vying with James Harden and Paul George for the league's top honour, said. "I think once the game started, we did a great job setting the tone. We just wanted to protect home.

"We knew that the Raptors were going to come and try to play hard and try to get one at our place, but we just wanted this game.

"I know every night when the game starts my team-mates are looking at me. I think it definitely gave the team a lot of energy."

Antetokounmpo received plenty of support against the second-seeded Raptors, with Ersan Ilyasova contributing 17 points off the bench, while Nikola Mirotic (15), Malcolm Brogdon (14) and George Hill (13) also chipped in.

"It's amazing," Antetokounmpo told reporters. "It's so nice seeing guys come into the game being mentally prepared, setting the tone for the whole team and just playing hard. In this team, any given night, guys can step up. You really don't know where it's going to come from.

"Tonight, Ersan had a great game. George Hill had a great game. In Game 3, someone else is going to have a great game. This is the beauty of basketball. This is the beauty of our team, that we trust one another. We've been winning, so it feels good."

With the series moving to Toronto for Game 3 on Sunday, Bucks head coach Mike Budenholzer said: "We're going to lose some games, and we're going to keep doing what we've been doing all year. You can't just base it on the results.

"Obviously tonight was a huge positive. The guys have learned a way to play. They believe in it. We believe in it. The more positive results you get, sure it reinforces it.

"It just lets them know that nothing is going to change. We'll just continue that going into Game 3, win or lose, going into Game 4."

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