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Milwaukee Bucks Now Have Backs To The Wall

Chuck Quirmbach
Pre-game hoopla at the Fiserv Forum could not carry the Bucks to victory Thursday night.

Put the civic celebrations for the Milwaukee Bucks on hold.

The Bucks lost Game 5 of the NBA Eastern Conference Finals to the Toronto Raptors Thursday night at the Fiserv Forum, by a score of 105-99.  The Raptors now lead the best of seven series three games to two, meaning Milwaukee must win both Saturday night in Toronto and Monday night in Milwaukee to advance to the NBA Finals.

The Bucks cruised to a 14-point lead early in the first quarter. But Toronto outplayed Milwaukee for much of the rest of the game, including in the closing minutes. The Raptors star player Kawhi Leonard led Toronto with 35 points.

After the contest, Bucks Head Coach Mike Budenholzer told reporters that he thought the referees should have called more fouls on the Raptors, especially those players guarding Bucks superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo.  "The officials have got a tough job. They do the best that they can. We'd love for Giannis to get to the free-throw line more. Feel like he deserves it," he said.

Credit Chuck Quirmbach
Bucks players Brook Lopez (left) and Malcolm Brogdon (right) dejectedly meet with the news media after the game.

Budenholzer also said Antetokounmpo twisted his ankle late in the game when he tried to steal the basketball from a Toronto player.

The next game in Toronto will be a big test for his team, he said. "We've been a resilient group all year. We just need to think about winning one game — going to Toronto to get that."

Bucks guard Malcolm Brogdon also addressed the challenge ahead, during the postgame news conference.  "I mean, if we don't have it now, our season's done. We've been resilient all year, and we're going to rely on each other, and lean on each other, as we've done all year. We're going to go out and compete as hard as we can," Brogdon said.

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