3. Defensive execution
The Toronto Raptors were able to win Game 3 because of Leonard’s and Siakam’s amazing hustle plays to create extra possessions for their team. Leonard had a timely steal leading to a solo jam, and Siakam’s massive block on Brook Lopez leading to another Leonard bucket. These were the winning plays of the game.
An adjustment was made in Leonard being tasked with guarding the freakishly athletic Giannis. While guarded by Leonard, the Greek Freak shot 1-for-9. When guarded by any other Raptor, he was 4-for-7. The collective team effort made life very difficult for Giannis in Game 3, forcing him to turn the ball over eight times and aggressively attacking him in the paint. He picked up fouls, which led to his dismissal in the second overtime.
It wasn’t just the Greek Freak they were able to slow down Sunday night. The Raptors’ perimeter defenders held the two other offensive weapons in Khris Middleton and Eric Bledsoe to a combined 6-for-32 shooting, including 2-of-12 from deep. The Bucks collectively shot 38-for-102 (37.3 percent) from the field, including their starting unit being held to 19-of-69 shooting (27.5 percent).
The Raptors were able to create 21 points off Milwaukee’s 20 turnovers, including 18 fast break points. Despite being out-rebounded, an area of focus heading into the game, they protected the rim better than their opponent, 10-5. Discipline was the biggest deterrent defensively for the Raptors Sunday night, which led to two of their top performers’ dismissal.