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Stakes are high as Bucks, Raptors meet in Game 6

There is no escaping the truth of what is at stake when the Toronto Raptors host the Milwaukee Greenbacks in Recreation 6 of the Jap Convention finals on Saturday night time.

The surging Raptors have gained 3 immediately, hanging them on the point of the primary NBA Finals berth in group historical past.

The Greenbacks, who completed because the NBA’s best group within the steady season and as soon as led this collection 2-Zero, haven’t any more space for error after their first three-game shedding streak all season.

Those two groups have spent months seeking to keep even-keeled, treating the whole lot as simply any other sport. That is beginning to get so much harder.

“It is an removing sport,” Greenbacks trainer Mike Budenholzer mentioned Friday. “It is only a truth.”

Raptors trainer Nick Nurse added to that, suggesting the result of the collection will have franchise-altering implications.

“Those are video games that now have importance so far as one group’s going one route, and one going the opposite, perhaps,” Nurse mentioned.

Surely. Milwaukee starters Khris Middleton, Brook Lopez and Malcolm Brogdon are all headed totally free company, even though the Greenbacks can fit gives for Brogdon. Nikola Mirotic could also be a loose agent this summer time.

The Raptors, in the meantime, haven’t any larger loose agent than two-way famous person Kawhi Leonard, who can choose out of the general yr of his deal. An NBA Finals berth, or higher, in Leonard’s debut season north of the border would no doubt be a boon to Toronto group President Masai Ujiri when loose company opens on June 30.

MVP candidate Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Greenbacks desire a win to lengthen their hopes of achieving the finals for the primary time since 1974. Then a Western Convention group, Milwaukee misplaced to Boston in seven video games. One season later, famous person Kareem Abdul-Jabbar left for the Lakers, and the Greenbacks have not performed for a hoop since.

Toronto gained two times in its earlier Jap Convention finals look, taking Video games three and four at house in opposition to Cleveland in 2016. After that, LeBron James and the Cavs confirmed their magnificence in Video games five and six, outscoring the Raptors by way of a mixed 64 issues.

Cleveland swept the Raptors out of the second one spherical in every of the previous two seasons, however LeBron’s departure from the East and Leonard’s arrival in Canada have helped put Toronto in its very best place ever.

Along with his group heading house short of another win to arrange a finals showdown with Golden State, Nurse is aware of the Raptors nonetheless face a frightening activity in Recreation 6.

“As hard-fought as most of these had been, and consider me, they have got been, I be expecting this one to be the toughest fought of all of them,” Nurse mentioned.

Here is what to understand earlier than Recreation 6:

NO LIMITS

Nurse may not be being worried about how a lot enjoying time his stars go online Saturday night time.

“It is a whatever-it-takes sport,” he mentioned. “It is an unlimited-minutes night time.”

BREATHER BENEFITS?

Budenholzer, then again, mentioned he sees worth in protecting Antetokounmpo’s mins under 40.

“You wish to have so as to produce and carry out, together with within the fourth quarter, so I do not really feel any other about how a lot we use him,” Budenholzer mentioned.

Antetokounmpo performed 39 mins in Recreation five. He performed 45 mins earlier than fouling out in Toronto’s double-overtime win in Recreation three, however hasn’t crowned 39 in every other sport this postseason. His regular-season prime used to be 42, in an additional time loss to the Knicks on Dec. 1.

TURNOVER TURNAROUND

Toronto trailed 16-Four after making its fourth turnover of the sport with 7:55 left within the first quarter of Recreation five. The Raptors had simply two extra turnovers the remainder of the sport, one every in the second one and 3rd quarters.

MORE MIDDLETON?

Middleton shot 2 for nine in Recreation five, the second one time this collection he has taken fewer than 10 photographs. MIddleton has had 11 or extra makes an attempt in Milwaukee’s different 12 postseason video games. Budenholzer mentioned he did not thoughts the low shot overall in Recreation five, pointing to Middleton’s 10 assists.

“The ball is in his arms, he is making nice selections, he is doing issues which can be truly sure and truly impactful,” Budenholzer mentioned.

Middleton had one 10-assist sport within the steady season, in opposition to Miami on March 22.

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Extra AP NBA: https://apnews.com/NBA and https://twitter.com/AP—Sports activities

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