We're halfway through a pivotal Game 5. With a second half yet to play, here are some takeaways from an action-packed first half...
The Bucks stormed out of the gates to a big lead before the Raptors clawed back to briefly take a lead in the second quarter. The Bucks lead 49-46 at the half.
In NBA history, the Game 5 winner of a best-of-seven series tied 2-2 has gone on to win the series 82% of the time.
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Early turnovers lead to big hole
The Raptors quickly found themselves in a 18-4 hole midway through the first quarter thanks in part to early turnovers. They had five turnovers within the first 4:05.
Here's a list of Toronto's first 13 possessions to begin the game:
- Danny Green missed 3-pointer
- Marc Gasol turnover
- Kawhi Leonard made 3-pointer
- Pascal Siakam offensive foul
- Kyle Lowry missed 3-pointer
- Kyle Lowry missed 3-pointer
- Kyle Lowry turnover
- Marc Gasol missed 3-pointer
- Norman Powell drawn foul (made 1 of 2)
- Marc Gasol missed layup
- Norman Powell turnover
- Kawhi Leonard missed jumper
- Kawhi Leonard missed 3-pointer
If you're scoring at home, that's 1-8 from the floor with four turnovers and one trip to the line.
While the Raptors were doing that, the Bucks were doing this:
ALL THE WAY 🆙#FearTheDeer pic.twitter.com/JbcjyOD0K1- Milwaukee Bucks (@Bucks) May 24, 2019
Pascal Siakam and Kawhi Leonard early foul trouble
With 10:25 left in the first quarter, Pascal Siakam appeared to draw an And-1 in transition. Instead, he was whistled for his second foul of the game and was subbed out for Norman Powell. Siakam is coming off a lackadaisical Game 4 in which he finished with just seven points, his second game this series in single digits.
Over the first two rounds of the playoffs, Siakam was held to single digits just once in 12 games while averaging 20.8 points per game.
After picking up his first foul 15 seconds into the game, Kawhi Leonard picked up his second foul with 4:06 left in the first quarter. Though he typically comes out of the game at that point anyways, the Raptors had cut Milwaukee's 14-point lead down to seven.
With Leonard on the bench, the Bucks ended the first quarter up by 10. Milwaukee is tough to beat at home when spotting a big lead. The Bucks are 8-0 at home this season when leading by double digits after the first quarter with all eight wins coming by double figures.
Eric Bledsoe breaks out of slump
One of the biggest storylines of the series thus far was Eric Bledsoe's slump on the offensive end. Save for a few moments in the third quarter of Game 1, he's struggled so far in this series as he entered Game 5 averaging just 8.3 points per game on 24% shooting.
Bledsoe set the tone in the first quarter, scoring a team-high nine points on 3-4 shooting. That's more than he scored in all of Game 4 (five points) and Game 2 (eight points).
Milwaukee also got a big lift from Malcolm Brogdon, who started in place of Nikola Mirotic. Brogdon, who struggled in Game 4 as he shot 2-11 and finished with just four points, rewarded Mike Budenholzer's faith as he came out hot, pitching in eight points and a team-high five rebounds in the first quarter.
Raptors come roaring back
After trailing by as many as 14 points, the Raptors fought back to tie it on a Kawhi Leonard dunk off a Fred VanVleet steal just seconds after VanVleet drained a 3-pointer.
The Raptors got back in it thanks to a swarming defense to start the second quarter. The Bucks opened up the quarter just 1-13 from the field, a dry spell that included a missed dunk by Giannis Antetokounmpo. His 3-pointer with 4:24 left in the quarter ended a 18-2 run for the Raptors.
Here's the Bucks' cold spell to start the second quarter prior to that made 3-pointer by Antetokounmpo:
Offensively, the Raptors were led by Pascal Siakam (eight points) and Kyle Lowry (seven points) in the second quarter. The Raptors outscored the Bucks 24-17.
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