The Milwaukee Bucks were in prime position to force a Game 7 in the Eastern Conference Finals. They broke away in the early part of the fourth quarter, before the Raptors launched a stunning 26-3 run that completely shifted the momentum. And of course, Kawhi Leonard threw down one of the most vicious slams in NBA Playoff history.
The Bucks offense went completely stagnant for the second half of the fourth quarter. Virtually every shot the Raptors took went in, while Milwaukee couldn't find the bottom of the net whatsoever.
The Raptors were absolutely fantastic in the fourth quarter, don't be mistaken. But the Bucks, in the concluding minutes of the game, often looked like a junior varsity squad paired up against its superior varsity counterpart.
The Bucks were outscored 29-18 in the fourth, but it was the Raptors' late run that sealed Milwaukee's fate.
Why does Giannis refuse to shoot?!?— Chris Herring (@Herring_NBA) May 26, 2019
Giannis Antetokounmpo went 1-for-5 in the final period of play, and the Bucks collectively shot 3-for-15. The Greek Freak's confidence wavered late on, and he actually seemed unwilling to take the big shot for Milwaukee. Their offense wasn't the only problem late in the game, however.
The team's defense looked simply outmatched, more than ever before during the four-game span in which they saw the series fall out of their grasp. The relentless Raptors stars continued to corral the offensive glass-- including Kawhi's game-clinching board-- and provide second chance opportunities for the team, whilst the Bucks were out of gas.
What a terrible play call by Bud there.— Kristian Winfield (@Krisplashed) May 26, 2019
Mike Budenholzer's play calling was suspect at best, most notably in pivotal stretches of the game. The Bucks offense needed him to draw up some smart plays and get Giannis an open look, but he failed to do so.
This is going to be a series loss, and Game 6 in particular, that Bucks fans will rue for a long time. The opportunity to bring the series back to Milwaukee was right in front of them, but the team faltered in pivotal stretches and failed to secure what was theirs for the taking.