Pascal Siakam felt guilty about a pair of missed free throws and the extra minutes they added to his teammates’ night.
Fortunately for Siakam and the rest of the Raptors, Kawhi Leonard did not seem to feel any fatigue.
Leonard on Sunday scored 36 points, including eight in the second overtime, as Toronto beat Milwaukee 118-112 to cut the Bucks’ lead in the Eastern Conference final series to 2-1.
Leonard made 11 of 25 shots and went 12 of 13 at the free-throw line in more than 52 minutes of action, a playoff career high.
“At the end of the game, Kawhi said he played an hour of basketball,” Siakam said. “I told him: ‘My bad.’”
Leonard had nine rebounds and five assists, despite appearing to be bothered by some leg discomfort. He said he would keep fighting and playing.
“I mean, it’s 52 minutes and it’s in the playoffs, so you definitely feel it. When you play 30 minutes, you feel it still,” Leonard said. “Just got to not worry about it, get my treatment and move on to the next one.”
Leonard’s previous career high in playoff minutes was 46, set with San Antonio against Miami in Game 6 of the NBA Finals on June 18, 2013. The Spurs lost that game in overtime, then lost Game 7 two days later.
Siakam had 25 points and 11 rebounds, Norman Powell scored 19 points before fouling out, while Marc Gasol had 16 points and 12 rebounds.
The Raptors will try to even the series when they host Game 4 today.
Giannis Antetokounmpo had 12 points and 23 rebounds before fouling out with 4 minutes, 24 seconds to go in the second overtime. Antetokounmpo shot five of 16.
“They were just playing better than us,” Antetokounmpo said. “Whenever we got close, they’d hit some shots and take the lead back to seven or eight. At the end of the day, it wasn’t our best game. We can get a lot better.”
Toronto won despite guards Kyle Lowry and Powell both fouling out in the fourth quarter.
Siakam also missed a pair of free throws with 7.4 seconds left in regulation that could have iced the game for the Raptors.
“It’s tough,” Siakam said. “Those are shots that you practice and think about every day.”
Siakam redeemed himself by blocking a potential tying shot by Brook Lopez with 43 seconds to go in the second overtime, leading to a layup for Leonard that put Toronto up 114-110 with just over 30 seconds to play.
George Hill scored 24 points and Malcolm Brogdon had 20 for the Bucks, who lost for the first time in five road games this post-season. Milwaukee are 10-2 overall in this season’s playoffs.
“We were right on the cusp of winning a game when we didn’t play that well,” Bucks coach Mike Budenholzer said.
After on Saturday suggesting that he might change his lineup, Raptors coach Nick Nurse stuck with his normal starters, but gave Powell 30 minutes, the most he has played in any game this post-season.
“We just played a lot tougher, man,” Nurse said. “We were up guarding and we were physical, and we were ready to play tonight.”
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