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Numbers for Game 6: The Raptors survive a meltdown and advance

The Raptors completely blew a 25-point lead, but still managed to close out the Bucks in Game 6. Let’s look at the numbers.

Toronto Raptors v Milwaukee Bucks - Game Six Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images

The Toronto Raptors eliminated the Milwaukee Bucks with a 92-89 victory in Game 6. It was one of the prettiest games the Raptors had played this series until it absolutely wasn’t.

Let’s unpack some of the numbers.

The Blown Lead

The big story in this one is how the Raptors managed to blow a massive 25-point lead in the middle of the third quarter and turn a sure win into a narrow victory.

With 5:17 to go in the third frame, the Raptors had a 71-46 advantage on the Bucks. To that point, Toronto had shot 51.0% from the field and 53.3% from long range (8-for-15), while holding the Bucks to a meagre split of 37.5% and 10.0% (1-for-10), respectively.

From 5:17 in the third to 3:06 left in the fourth, the Bucks went on a 34-7 run, taking a highly unlikely 80-78 lead in crunch time. During that span, the Raptors only scored two measly field goals on 14 attempts (including 0-for-6 from deep), while the Bucks shot 47.6% from the field and 4-for-6 from three.

The Raptors outscored the Bucks 14-9 in the final 3:06 of the game, but needed to be darn-near perfect to do so, going 4-for-5 from the field and nailing their only three-point attempt.

The numberFire.com win probability graph tells an interesting visual story of the collapse. The Raptors’ odds of winning peaked at 97.03% when they had their 25-point lead with 5:17 to go in the third, and that flipped to a 61.31% advantage for the Bucks at the 3:06 mark in the fourth.

This was quite nearly the biggest meltdown in team history (and that’s got some competition):

The Raptors eventually eked out the victory, but it’s hard to feel that great about it.

Three Cheers for DeMar DeRozan

The Raptors largely won this game (and the last three) thanks to the play of one DeMar DeRozan. He was by far the best Raptor in this game, scoring 32 points on 12-for-24 shooting from the field and 8-for-9 from the free throw line, while adding four boards, three assists, and five steals.

Over the three Raptor wins from Games 4 to 6, DeRozan averaged 27.7 points, 5.3 rebounds, 4.7 assists, and 3.3 steals per contest, while shooting 51.7% from the field and 90.9% from the line.

Despite the massive egg he dropped in Game 3, DeRozan was the hero of this series and by far the biggest factor in this particular game.

This one clutch dunk says it all:

Everyone Else

While Games 4 and 5 were characterized by a balanced attack from the Raptors and contributions up and down the roster, Game 6 belonged mostly to DeRozan and no one else.

Kyle Lowry was serviceable, putting up 13 points on 5-for-9 shooting from the field (and 1-for-4 from deep), while adding four rebounds, four assists, two steals, and a block, but he was the only other Raptor to score in double figures.

Norman Powell was still a boss, shooting 3-for-6 from the field and a perfect 2-for-2 from beyond the arc (making him a perfect 9-for-9 from deep since joining the starting lineup in Game 4), but his line of eight points, three boards, two turnovers, and four fouls seemed fairly muted compared to Games 4 and 5. Still, he was the next highest-scoring Raptor after DeMar and Kyle.

No one else is really worth a mention.

The Greek Continued to Freak

Although DeMar DeRozan was the most important Raptor in this matchup, Giannis Antetokounmpo was perhaps the series MVP, despite playing for the losing team.

In this particular game, he gave everything he had, scoring 34 points on 13-for-23 (56.5%) shooting from the field (and 1-for-2 from deep), while adding nine rebounds, three assists, two steals, and two blocks.

On the series, Giannis averaged 24.8 points, 9.5 rebounds, 4.0 assists, 2.2 steals, and 1.7 blocks in 40.5 minutes per contest, while shooting 53.6% from the field and 40.0% from long range.

He may have lost this series, but it’s clear that he’s got a career of monster playoff performances ahead of him.

Leaving it at the Line

Considering this was only a three-point win for the Raptors, the final free throw numbers loom large for the Bucks on the losing side of the ledger.

While the Raptors shot a typically excellent 19-for-23 (82.6%) from the charity stripe, the Bucks struggled there, going 18-for-28 (64.3%) and leaving a lot of crucial points at the line.

Giannis Antetokounmpo was a particular dud on freebies, shooting 7-for-13 (53.8%), while Khris Middleton wasn’t much better at 4-for-7 (57.1%). Free throw shooting was the one major knock on Antetokounmpo in this series in particular, as he shot a paltry 25-for-46 (54.3%) from the line over the six games.

An Interesting Lineup Wrinkle

Most of the lineup data from this series won’t carry over to the next round against the Cleveland Cavaliers (Jonas Valanciunas will probably be a bigger factor against their frontline, etc.), but one interesting little wrinkle was Dwane Casey trotting out a three-point-guard lineup with Kyle Lowry, Cory Joseph, and Delon Wright all on the floor at the same time.

In six minutes of action, that trio had a net rating (points scored minus points allowed per 100 possessions) of 37.8, which lined up pretty well with the 45.2 mark it managed to put up in 29 minutes (over four contests) this season. Small sample sizes, but hey, it’s just another example of how versatile this roster is.

Odds & Ends

The overall team stats in this one were pretty well even up and down the stat sheet.

The Raptors shot 45.7% from the field and 40.9% from long range, but the Bucks weren’t far behind at 42.1% and 36.8%, respectively.

The Bucks got the edge in rebounding (49-47), assists (18-14), steals (11-9), blocks (10-4), and turnovers (14-15), but in neither category was the margin big enough to make it the story.

Both teams were even in fastbreak points (eight apiece), points in the paint (44 apiece), fouls (20 apiece), and technical fouls (one apiece).

Everything really came down to the 82.6% to 64.3% differential at the free throw line.

Franchise History

This was only the fourth postseason series win in Raptors history and it marked the first time that they have ever been able to close things out without needing the maximum number of games.

Neat.