Kawhi Leonard leads Toronto to Game 5 win and 3-2 series edge

Kawhi Leonard-Toronto Raptors-Milwaukee Bucks-Game 5 of the Eastern Conference finals-Fred VanVleet-NBA Playoffs-

Kawhi Leonard came up big at crunch time in Game 5 at Milwaukee, scoring 15 of his 35 points in the fourth quarter to propel Toronto to a 105-99 win. The Raptors took a 3-2 series lead and hooked up money-line supporters with a +280 return.

Milwaukee picked a horrible time to lose three games in a row for the first time all season. Toronto took a 3-2 series lead in the Eastern Conference finals Thursday thanks to a 105-99 win over the Bucks as a 7.5-point underdog.

Now the Raptors go home for Saturday’s Game 6 in hopes of landing the kill shot and advancing to the NBA Finals for the first time in franchise history.

Kawhi Leonard scored 15 of his game-high 35 points in the fourth quarter, leading his team back from a 14-point deficit in the opening stanza. The victory netted Toronto money-line backers with an outstanding +280 payout.

Leonard got buckets when the Raptors needed them and dished out nine assists compared to merely one turnover. He also had seven rebounds and a pair of steals.

Fred VanVleet drained 7-of-9 attempts from 3-point range in a 21-point effort. All seven of his made treys were uncontested.  Kyle Lowry contributed 17 points, seven rebounds and six assists, while Pascal Siakam added 14 points, 13 boards and three blocked shots.

The Westgate SuperBook in Las Vegas posted its updated series price early Friday morning. Toronto is now the -240 favorite, leaving the Bucks as +190 underdogs. As of Friday afternoon, most books had the Raptors listed as 2.5-point home favorites for Saturday’s showdown. The total was in the 212-213 range, while Milwaukee was +130 on the money line.

The Westgate also has series prices for both potential matchups in the Finals. Golden State is a -300 “chalk” vs. Toronto (+240) and a -240 favorite vs. Milwaukee (+190). As for future bets at the Westgate, the Warriors are -260 favorites. The Raptors have +350 odds and Milwaukee is +700.

Mike Budenholzer’s club has been an underdog 12 times this season, compiling a 9-3 spread record. On the flip side, Toronto has struggled in short favorite roles. When the Raptors have been favored by 2.5 points or fewer, they’re 4-7 ATS. They’re 7-14 versus the number when favored by 4.5 points or less.

TNT will have the Game 6 telecast at 8:30 p.m. Eastern.

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