The Milwaukee Bucks clinched a 2-1 series lead after blowing past the listless Toronto Raptors 104-77 in Game 3 of their best-of-seven first-round matchup at BMO Harris Bradley Center in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

The Bucks showed their defensive chops in the pivotal game, as their perimeter guys held the Raptors’ vaunted All-Star backcourt of Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan to a combined 22 points on 4-for-18 shooting from the field. DeRozan, in particular, never made a single field goal conversion, as he went super-cold with 0-for-8 field goal shooting.

Milwaukee’s length and athleticism continued to pose all sorts of problems for head coach Dwane Casey and the Raptors, who never tasted a solitary lead in the match.

Toronto shot 33.8 percent from the field, including 27.8 percent from the three-point line.

The Bucks, meanwhile, shot 52.7 percent from the field and a staggering 52.2 percent from beyond the arc. They also converted 73 percent of their foul shot while dishing the ball for an easy score 29 times.

Monroe Steps Up

Greg Monroe once again stepped up off the bench, recording 16 points and seven rebounds in 23 minutes of action. Monroe, who has been mentioned a number of times on the rumor mill this season, has been playing well as of late, especially when Jabari Parker suffered a season-ending ACL injury in February.

The former Georgetown product record 15 points and 15 boards in Game 1 and then followed it up with 18 points on 6-for-9 shooting in a losing cause in Game 2.

Stars of the Night

1 StarGiannis Antetokounmpo was once again a jack of all trades Thursday night, tallying 19 points on 7-for-10 shooting with eight rebounds, four assists, two steals and two blocks in 33 minutes of action. More importantly, the All-Star forward continues to make things miserable for DeRozan, Lowry and DeMarre Carrol on the perimeter.

2 StarsKhris Middleton has been a revelation for head coach Jason Kidd since he returned from a left hamstring injury in February. The former second-round pick does not only provide outside shooting and floor stretching for the Bucks, but he also turns into their best playmaker outside Antetokounmpo in the series.

In three games, Middleton recorded 18 assists against three turnovers, proving to everybody how efficient he has become with the ball in his hands.

3 StarsMonroe stands out in this game not only because of his point contributions but his outstanding job against the Raptors big man. He has blossomed into an underrated interior defender for the Bucks throughout the season, and his presence will once again be needed in Game 4.

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