The Bucks took another big step closer to the NBA Finals on Friday night with a dominant 125-103 win in Game 2 to take a 2-0 series lead and send the Raptors back to Toronto wondering what went wrong.
It was over almost before it started, as Milwaukee raced out to a huge first-quarter lead, and despite a couple of abbreviated Toronto runs in the second half, it was mostly academic from there.
Giannis Antetokounmpo led the way for the Bucks with 30 points, 17 rebounds, and five assists, and he set the tone early with a couple of grown-man moves to the basket just to remind everybody that he’s a virtually unstoppable force of nature when he gets that deep into the lane.
Yet it was the supporting cast that once again took top billing in this one, as Milwaukee had five other players in double figures scoring for the night, led by Ersana Ilyasova, who had an out-of-body experience in the first half and finished with 17 points on 7-of-11 shooting.
Ilyasova did all his damage off the bench before halftime and was a one-man wrecking crew during that stretch, goading the Raptors into offensive fouls, knocking down threes, and coming up with steals in transition. It was he and Malcolm Brogdon, who knocked down his first three three-pointers to finish with 14 points and five assists on 50 percent shooting, who led the charge as Milwaukee built a lead that they would never relinquish.
It was an inauspicious start for the Raptors as the Bucks kicked things off with a 9-0 run, then went on another 10-0 run late in the first quarter to snatch a 14-point lead. Nikola Mirotic had nine of those points in that opening stretch, as Milwaukee’s bench categorically outplayed their Toronto counterparts.