MILWAUKEE, — DeMar DeRozan had 33 points, and the Toronto Raptors defeated the Milwaukee Bucks 87-76 in Game 4 of their first-round Eastern Conference playoff series and both teams are now locked at 2-2.
DeRozan, who shot 12-of-22 from the floor, was 9 for 9 from the free-throw line, while finishing with nine rebounds, five assists and four steals.
He scored 21 points in the first half alone and was 8-of-14 during those early periods.
“Being patient and being mature with the process, and (trying) to keep him calm,” DeRozan said. “It was still a challenge, but we figured it out.”
Kyle Lowry scored 14 of his 18 points in the second half, while Jonas Valanciunas and Norman Powell each had 12 points for the Raptors, who bounced back from the shocking 104-77 defeat in Milwaukee in Game 3.
“What I normally do is be aggressive, be physical and make it difficult … on the defensive end,” Powell said.
Serge Ibaka ended with 10 points, eight rebounds, three blocks and two steals for Toronto, which held the Bucks to just 37.0 percent shooting.
“I’ve always said we play better with our backs against the wall,” coach Dwane Casey said.
“It’s a tough way to live, but I love our team’s resilience and personality.”
Tony Snell scored a career-high 19 points to lead Milwaukee.
Giannis Antetokounmpo, meanwhile, was held to 14 points on 6-of-19 shooting to go with nine rebounds, four assists, two steals and two blocks, but also committed seven turnovers in the defeat.
Greg Monroe added 14 points and nine rebounds and Khris Middleton ended with 10 points and 11 boards for the Bucks, who were 5-for-21 from 3-point range.
“Our tempo was extremely slow,” Bucks coach Jason Kidd said. “Give (Toronto) credit, they slowed us down.”
The Raptors snatched home-court advantage back in the best-of-seven series, with Game 5 set for Monday at the Air Canada Centre.