The Milwaukee Bucks now have a battle on their hands.
Making just 4 of 23 3-pointers in the second half and missing 11 costly free throws, the Bucks fell in two overtimes to the Toronto Raptors, 118-112, Sunday night in Toronto.
Kawhi Leonard led all scorers with 36 points, and Pascal Siakam added 25 points and 11 rebounds, as Toronto pulled within 2-1 in the Eastern Conference finals series.
Norman Powell, drafted by the Bucks on the second round in 2015 and traded on draft night to the Raptors, finished with 19 points off the bench. Marc Gasol, who went 3 for 20 in the first two games, went 5 for 10 in this one, including 4 of 8 on 3-pointers.
Bucks superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo struggled offensively, finishing with just 12 points and missing 5 of 7 free throws. He fouled out with 4:24 left in the second overtime. His sixth foul came as Siakam lowered his shoulder and bowled him over.
The Bucks only held the lead twice in the entire 58 minutes — at 2-0 on an Antetokounmpo scoop layup to open the game, and at 105-103 on George Hill’s tip-in to open the second overtime.
Gasol’s 3-pointer after a questionable out-of-bounds call put Toronto back on top for good at 106-105, and Leonard’s dunk after officials missed him double-dribbling on a fast break made it 108-105 and left the Bucks playing uphill the rest of the night.
A tip-in by Brook Lopez got the Bucks within 110-109 with 2:31 left, and the Bucks got the ball back after a Leonard turnover, but Middleton’s weak pass was stolen by Leonard for another dunk. Siakam blocked a Lopez drive — landing violently on top of Lopez but not drawing a whistle — and Leonard powered for a layup that basically sealed it.
Antetokounmpo grabbed 23 rebounds but committed eight of the Bucks’ 20 turnovers.
Khris Middleton went just 3 of 16 to finish with just nine points, and the Bucks shot just 37.3% (38 for 102) on the night.
Middleton sent the game to overtime, driving the left baseline. He had his first attempt blocked but regathered the ball and put in the tying basket with 2.2 seconds left.
Siakam had missed two free throws with 7.2 seconds left to set up Middleton’s tying opportunity.
After a timeout, Siakam got the ball out front and missed from about 30 feet away.
Leonard missed a strongly contested shot at the end of the first overtime tied at 103.
The Bucks made 10 of 21 3-pointers in the first half to keep the game close, trailing 58-51 at the half.
Hill led the Bucks with 24 points, and Brogdon added 20. But starters struggled mightily, with Eric Bledsoe matching Middleton’s 3-for-16 — both went 1 for 6 on 3-pointers — and Nikola Mirotic going 3 for 11.
Game 4 is set for Tuesday night in Toronto,