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Raptors advance to 2nd round of NBA Playoffs while nearly blowing a 25-point lead

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This would have been an ugly way for Toronto to go down.

Milwaukee Bucks v Toronto Raptors - Game Five Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images

The Toronto Raptors nearly collapsed all the way in the fourth quarter of Game 6, when they allowed the Milwaukee Bucks to go on a 34-7 run to retake the lead with 2 minutes and 29 seconds to go. Their advantage was once as many as 25 points. That faded into the final minutes

It could of been one biggest blown leads in NBA playoff history and would have forced an all-deciding Game 7.

Instead, Toronto will limp into the second-round, winning the series in the most Raptors way ever with a 92-89 victory.

What happened?

A visually exhausted Giannis Antetokounmpo took the reins of his team at home and almost gave the Bucks a chance at a major series upset.

His performance at the free-throw line hurt, but playing all but two minutes of this game, he finished with 34 points on 13-of-23 shooting, three assists and nine rebounds. He was huffing and puffing his way down the floor, but provided for his team on both ends of the floor in a game he needed to play nearly all of.

He had help on the outside with clutch deep-ball shots from Khris Middleton and Jason Terry, and the offensive rebounding efforts of Greg Monroe, who finished with four, was felt.

Meanwhile Toronto’s offense fell off a cliff.

With less than three minutes to play, the Raptors had scored all of seven points for the entire quarter. By the finish, they only made three field goals for the entire quarter.

DeMar DeRozan showed big with 32 total point on 12-of-24 shooting, but nobody else came to support.

Kyle Lowry was a forgotten man with 13 points on 5-of-9 shooting despite playing 44 minutes and no other Raptor finished with double-digits in points.

A lot of luck gave the Raptors a shaky win

Some of Toronto’s best defense was done at the free throw stripe. Antetokounmpo missed six himself and the team shot 18-of-28 as a whole.

The Bucks almost made another mini-comeback in the final seconds of the game as well, and had the ball down just three points in what could have been the final possession. Antetotkounmpo made a big mistake as he dunked through a wide-open lane while his team had no timeouts left, playing into the Raptors’ trap.

A final last-second chance saw the Raptors intercept a pass and DeRozan spike the ball down in celebration.

As always, there’s no reason to be too confident in Toronto going forward.