Toronto Raptors forward Kawhi Leonard (2) is called for a defensive foul against Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo (34) during second half action in Game 5 of the NBA Eastern Conference final in Milwaukee on Thursday, May 23, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn

Raptors beat Bucks 105-99 to move within 1 game of NBA Finals

Leonard scores 35 as Toronto takes 3-2 series lead over Milwaukee

MILWAUKEE — The Toronto Raptors are in uncharted territory. One win from the NBA Finals.

Kawhi Leonard scored 35 points to lead the Toronto Raptors to a thrilling 105-99 victory over Milwaukee on Thursday in the most important game in franchise history.

The Raptors can book their ticket to the finals with a win Saturday in Toronto.

It was Leonard’s 11th 30-plus performance for the Raptors, who took a 3-2 lead in the best-of-seven Eastern Conference finals with their historic win. Never before has Toronto won three games in a conference final.

Three days after his girlfriend gave birth to their son, Fred VanVleet had seven three-pointers as part of a playoff career-high 21 points. Kyle Lowry, playing through what he called “pretty bad” pain with a sprained thumb, had 17 points, seven rebounds, and six assists. Pascal Siakam had 14 points and a game-high 13 rebounds.

Giannis Antetokounmpo had 24 points to lead Bucks, who with 60 wins (two more than Toronto) had the best record in the league in the regular season. The Bucks hadn’t lost three straight games all season.

RELATED: Raptors beat Bucks 120-102 to even series at 2-2

The Raptors stumbled out at the start, digging themselves an early 14-point hole with horrible shooting. But, thanks to their stifling defence, they clawed their way back to take their first lead late in the second quarter. The Bucks led 75-72 with one quarter to play.

Lori Ewing, The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter 

Just Posted

Old Christmas card has ties to Summerland agriculture

Card was sent by former director of Summerland Research Station

Auntie Says: Be thoughtful of others around this time of year

Christmas and holidays in general can serve as painful reminders of loss for some

Fans sing Canadian anthem after sound system breaks at BMW IBSF World Cup

The Canadians in attendance made sure their team and flag were honoured on the podium

Unlucky Friday the 13th as Penticton Vees fall to Vernon Vipers

The home-and-home series wraps up tonight at the South Okanagan Events Centre

Orchard House is a Rockin’ final time this decade.

The Yard Katz and the Hip Replacements are the starring bands for the Dec. 28 show.

VIDEO: Success of wildlife corridors in Banff National Park has advocates wanting more

Demand for more highway protection escalated after seven elk were killed by a semi-trailer near Canmore

In Photos: CP Rail Holiday Train lights up the Shuswap

The stop on the train’s Canada-wide journey came with a $5,500 donation to local food bank.

Penticton Vees earn split with Vernon Vipers

Vees victorious 4-1 at home in back end of home-and-home series

B.C. VIEWS: Hunger does not end with the season

Despite innovations in food distribution, the need is still there in B.C. communities

Kelowna RCMP officer allegedly sexts assault victim

RCMP confirm investigation but hold back details

Legendary primatologist coming to Okanagan

Dame Jane Goodall, founder of the Jane Goodall Institute, will present in Vernon Tuesday, March 24

Sharks beat Canucks 4-2 to snap 6-game skid

Vancouver visits Vegas on Sunday

Frosty will have to pay rent to stay on Okanagan sidewalk next Christmas

Vernon Teach and Learn allowed to keep Frosty up, but will need a permit come January 1

Prince George RCMP use bait packages to catch porch pirates over the holidays

First-in-Canada program with Amazon looks to combat parcel theft

Most Read