Malcolm Brogdon made consecutive 3-pointers in the final 1:07, turning a three-point deficit into a three-point lead, and the Milwaukee Bucks pulled out a 104-99 victory over the Toronto Raptors Sunday at Scotia Bank Arena in Toronto.
The victory pulled the Bucks (17-8) within 2 1/2 games of the Raptors (21-7) for the top spot in the Eastern Conference. It also gives the Bucks a 2-0 lead in the season series with Toronto.
The two 3-pointers gave Brogdon 18 points for the night. Giannis Antetokounmpo led the Bucks with 19 points and 19 rebounds, and center Brook Lopez also tallied 19 points, including 5-of-8 shooting on 3-pointers.
Serge Ibaka led the Raptors with 22 points, and Kawhi Leonard added 20. Slumping Kyle Lowry went scoreless on five attempts, all 3-pointers. He’s 8 of 42 over his last five games.
The Bucks, who lost Friday night at home to the Golden State Warriors, still have not lost consecutive games this season.
The game featured an almost-playoff-like atmosphere from the beginning, and neither team led by more than eight through the first three quarters. The Bucks finished the third quarter strong for a 79-74 lead, and pushed it to 85-74 on Tony Snell’s two free throws with 10:36 left.
Fred VanVleet made his fourth 3-pointer of the night to flip the momentum, and his fifth three of the night capped a 20-7 run to give the Raptors a 94-92 lead with 3:13 left.
After two free throws by Khris Middleton tied it at 94, Kawhi Leonard’s 3-pointer gave the Raptors a 97-94 lead with 2:09 left. The Raptors got the ball back on a turnover, but Lowry missed a 3-pointer.
Middleton initiated the Bucks offense with a drive around the right corner. When he got under the basket, he flipped the ball out top to Brogdon, who swished the tying triple. The Bucks forced Leonard into a turnover at the other end, then swung the ball on offense. Middleton caught at the top and flipped it to Brogdon on the left wing. Again, the 2017 Rookie of the Year calmly drilled what turned out to be the game-winning points with 40.7 seconds left.
VanVleet scored on a drive with 28.9 seconds left to pull the Raptors within a point. After two timeouts and two pressured inbounds plays, Brook Lopez inbounded from in front of the Milwaukee bench to an open Antetokounmpo in the left corner. The Greek Freak drove for a dunk to make it a three-point lead.
Two free throws by Ersan Ilyasova closed the scoring with 7.1 seconds left.