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

Kootenay-Columbia incumbent MP responds to Trudeau brownface scandal

Stetski proud of NDP leader Singh’s reaction, which focused on people not power

Mystery illness killing Kootenay bees

Samples being sent to laboratories for analysis

UPDATED: Man pleads guilty in Baker Street death

Miles Halverson is guilty of manslaughter in the death of Matt Reeder

Latest round of Columbia River Treaty talks wrap up in Cranbrook

Federal, provincial, U.S. and Indigenous representatives recently met for eight round of discussions

First Nations given max compensation for Ottawa’s child-welfare discrimination

2016 ruling said feds didn’t give same funding for on-reserve kids as was given to off-reserve kids

VIDEO: Trudeau asks Canada to look to current, not past, actions on race

Liberal leader says he never spoke about the racist photo because he was embarrassed

Woman stabbed in downtown Nelson

Victim is in hospital, suspect is in police custody

Horvat paces Canucks to 6-1 pre-season win over Oilers

Vancouver improves to 3-1 in NHL exhibition action

Legislature gifts, clothing, travel need better control, B.C. auditor says

Audit follows suspensions of managers by Speaker Darryl Plecas

‘Really disturbing:’ Trudeau’s racist photos worry B.C. First Nation chief

Wet’suwet’en Chief concerned the photos will sow fear in Indigenous communities

‘Unacceptable’: What politicians have to say about Trudeau in blackface

Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi: ‘When I saw that picture last night, certainly it was a sucker-punch’

‘He’s trying to kill me’: Victoria police commandeer boats to reach screaming woman

No charges laid and civilians to be awarded honours after incident on Gorge Waterway

VIDEO: B.C. man accused of assaulting sex worker loses temper in interrogation

Defence lawyer says statements made by accused Curtis Sagmoen should be deemed inadmissible

John Horgan promises action after fatal mid-Island bus crash

Premier cites students, local Indigneous community as reason to repair the road

Most Read