NBA

Nurse wants Raptors to 'play their a** off' and change series

By Sports Desk May 18, 2019

Nick Nurse wants the Toronto Raptors "to play their a** off in Game 3" as they look to stay alive in the Eastern Conference finals.

The second-seeded Raptors trail the high-flying Milwaukee Bucks 2-0 in the NBA playoff series following Friday's comprehensive 125-103 defeat.

Raptors head coach Nurse was told on Saturday that 93 per cent of teams down two games in a series go on to lose and joked: "That can't be right. Check the figures."

Nurse then made a request for the Raptors just a day removed from their demoralising defeat in Milwaukee, with the series moving to Toronto on Sunday.

"I don't really give a crap about that," he said. "I just want our team to play their a** off in Game 3, get a win and that changes the series."

The Raptors were close to winning Game 1 at Fiserv Forum on Wednesday but a fourth-quarter surge from the Bucks led to Milwaukee winning 108-100. 

The rusty Bucks came back Friday to completely dominate the Raptors, thanks to another stellar performance from MVP finalist Giannis Antetokounmpo.

Toronto are being carried by Kawhi Leonard. The Raptors star is not receiving much help from others – including the team's second-leading scorer Serge Ibaka, who could see a starting role if Nurse decides to change the line-up in an effort to revive the team's chances in the series.

"You think certain series aren't for certain guys, et cetera, but I also think that we've gotten, we've had bad biorhythms a couple times, maybe three or four times in the playoffs, and then the next game our biorhythms were back intact," Nurse added.

"So I kinda trust these guys, know who they are, believe in 'em, and know they're better than they played last night and have shown that on bounce-back situations usually."

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