After the Milwaukee Bucks rushed out to a two-games-to-none series lead in the Eastern Conference finals, it looked like the Toronto Raptors were all but dead and the only thing that was left was the funeral.
That wasn't the case, though. Kawhi Leonard willed the Raptors to a double-overtime win in Game 3, and his supporting cast caught fire in Game 4 to tie the series at two.
As the series shifts back to Milwaukee for a crucial Game 5 on Thursday night, the Bucks have more than momentum working against them.
Referees Marc Davis and Tony Brothers are assigned to officiate Game 5. The numbers say that's good news for the Raptors.
Raptors 14-1 with Tony Brothers in the last 15 games, and 6-0 with Marc Davis. Tonight, they get both.— Kevin Rashidi (@KevinRashidi) May 23, 2019
Tough luck for Giannis Antetokounmpo and Co.
Whichever team emerges victorious from this slugfest will have its hands full in the NBA Finals.
After sweeping the Portland Trail Blazers in the Western Conference finals, the Golden State Warriors will have nine days off before the title round begins.
The Bucks/Raptors winner will face a short-handed Warriors squad, though, at least to begin the series.
Kevin Durant (right calf strain) has yet to resume on-court activities and is "unlikely to play" at the beginning of the NBA Finals. As for DeMarcus Cousins, the center continues to rehab his torn left quad and the Warriors are hopeful he will be able to suit up at some point in the NBA Finals.
The Warriors are expected to have Andre Iguodala ready for their fifth consecutive Finals appearance. The veteran forward missed Game 4 vs. the Blazers with calf tightness.
The Raptors and Bucks have traded blows early in the series and appear destined to go the distance. But if the Raptors get a favorable whistle Thursday night, they could take the floor back home in Game 6 with a chance to punch their ticket to the NBA Finals.