It wasn't how they drew it up, but the Raptors are headed to the franchise's first NBA Finals. They trailed by as many as 15 points Saturday in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference finals, but a 26-3 run spanning parts of the third and fourth quarters propelled Toronto to a 100-94 win over Milwaukee and the conference championship.
Kawhi Leonard had a quiet first half with only eight points and appeared to be running out of steam as the third quarter was drawing to a close, but the superstar caught a second wind and finished the quarter with a flurry, scoring or assisting on Toronto's final 10 points. Leonard finished with 27 points, seven assists and a career-high 17 rebounds.
Fred VanVleet had his second consecutive impactful game off the bench for the Raptors, making 4 of 5 attempts from 3 to finish with 14 points. Kyle Lowry and Pascal Siakam combined for 35 points. The 15-point comeback was the second-largest comeback in Raptors playoffs history.
For MVP candidate Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Bucks, the season ended in disappointing fashion. Antetokounmpo finished with 21 points and 11 rebounds as Milwaukee, the team with the NBA's best regular-season record, was beaten for a fourth consecutive time as the franchise sought its first Finals berth in 45 years.
Toronto will be home for Game 1 of the NBA Finals against the Warriors on Thursday (9 p.m. ET, ABC). The Warriors will likely be without Kevin Durant and were swept in the regular season by the Raptors.
Sporting News tracked live scoring updates and highlights from Game 6 of the Eastern Conference finals between the Bucks and Raptors. Follow along below.
Bucks vs. Raptors: Score, highlights from Game 6
(All times Eastern)
Final: Raptors 100, Bucks 94
11:12 p.m.: Toronto finally has done it; it advances to the franchise's first NBA Finals. Leonard finished with 27 points, 17 rebounds and seven assists.
11:09 p.m.: A Siakam free throws make it a four-point game, and Leonard rebounds with 3.9 seconds left.
11:02 p.m.: Raptors rebound their own missed shot with 7.9 seconds left. There's a shot clock error, so Toronto will have to imbound.
10:59 p.m.: Two Lopez free throws and the Raptors lead by just three with 29.6 seconds.
10:55 p.m.: Raptors come up with a steal, and Milwaukee begins fouling.
10:53 p.m.: Bucks ball, down by five, with 1:14 to go.
10:50 p.m.: Leonard hits his first 3 out of the night, out of the timeout.
10:48 p.m.: Timeout by Toronto with 3:19 left after Brook Lopez makes it a two-point game.
10:43 p.m.: The Bucks use a 7-0 run to end Toronto's 26-3 run. Raptors lead by one with 5:19 to play.
10:37 p.m.: Kawhi may have just ended someone's life.
10:35 p.m.: VanVleet 3. A 23-2 run. Raptors up by five with 7:57 left. Unbelievable.
10:32 p.m.: Siakam gives the Raptors their first lead since the score was 6-3.
10:28 p.m.: An Ibaka jam ties this game. It's a 17-2 Toronto run.
10:26 p.m.: Hello, Norman Powell. His first 3 of the night makes this a two-point ballgame.
End of third quarter: Bucks 76, Raptors 71
10:23 p.m.: Just when you start to count Leonard out, he scored or assisted on the last 10 points for the Raptors. He has 20 points and 13 rebounds.
10:18 p.m.: Antetokoumnpo with his third block of the night, but Ibaka scores on the next play to bring the game back to a single-digit lead.
10:16 p.m.: Leonard makes a tough and-one, but he definitely looks tired. He has seven points this quarter.
10:12 p.m.: Middleton really takes the air out of the building with another 3 of his own. That's his fourth of the night.
10:08 p.m.: Back-to-back 3s from Lowry give him 15 points for the night, but Milwaukee still leads by 10 with 4:20 remaining in the quarter.
10:02 p.m.: Middleton hits a 3 as the shot clock expires to give Milwaukee an 11-point lead.
9:56 p.m.: Leonard kicks it to Gasol, who nails a 3 — his first shot of the game. Bucks by five.
9:54 p.m.: A 3 from Antetokounmpo gives Milwaukee a 10-point lead.
9:50 p.m.: Bucks coach Mike Budenholzer is given a technical foul 25 seconds into the half.
Halftime: Bucks 50, Raptors 43
9:33 p.m.: Considering Milwaukee had a 15-point lead at one point, Toronto has done a great job to get it back to seven. Antetokounmpo leads the Bucks with 10 points on 3-of-7 shooting. Leonard has eight points for the Raptors.
9:31 p.m.: Anoth VanVleet 3 has this a two-point game.
9:28 p.m.: But a huge slam from Ibaka makes this just a four-point game!
9:27 p.m.: Serge Ibaka now has three fouls. Both of Toronto's big men battling foul trouble.
9:26 p.m.: VanVleet answers a Giannis 3 with one of his own.
9:23 p.m.: Marc Gasol picks up his third foul with 3:34 left in the half.
9:19 p.m.: A free throw from Siakam, and he's the first player to double figures tonight.
9:17 p.m.: A Siakam runner cuts the lead to single digits with 4:40 to play.
9:09 p.m.: Ilyasova hits another 3 and the Bucks have their largest lead of the night (15).
9:07 p.m.: Leonard is already up to four turnovers this half.
9:02 p.m.: A Fred VanVleet 3 ends a 17-2 Milwaukee run.
End of first quarter: Bucks 31, Raptors 18
8:57 p.m.: All Bucks late in the quarter as Malcolm Brogdon hits his second 3 of the night. Milwaukee is 6-of-9 from 3 compared to Toronto's 1-of-5.
8:55 p.m.: A nice block by Giannis turns into two points on the other end for Milwaukee.
Bucks not ready for this series to end pic.twitter.com/MXVu2pTlLh— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) May 26, 2019
8:49 p.m.: Toronto calls a timeout, down by five, with 3:04 left following a Ersan Ilyasova 3. The Bucks are 4-of-6 from deep.
8:45 p.m.: A 3 from Lowry ends an 11-0 Milwaukee run. Bucks lead by five with 5:00 to play this quarter.
8:43 p.m.: Giannis Antetokounmpo splits a pair of free throws to get on the board.
8:36 p.m.: Khris Middleton is 2 of 2 from 3.
8:35 p.m.: Kawhi's on the board, just a little over two minutes into the game.
8:33 p.m.: Toronto wins the tip, and Kyle Lowry scores the opening basket.
8:27 p.m.: It appears as though the Toronto fans are ready.