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Despite pre-game talk, Raptors coach Nick Nurse sticks with same lineup for Game 3

TORONTO — Despite pre-game talk of lineup changes, Raptors coach Nick Nurse stuck with the same starting five for Game 3 of the Eastern Conference final against the Milwaukee Bucks on Sunday night.

Toronto lost the first two games of the series 108-100 and 125-103 with Kyle Lowry, Danny Green, Kawhi Leonard, Pascal Siakam and Marc Gasol starting.

Asked at his pre-game availability, Nurse said there would be lineup changes but declined to detail them.

"Definitely I think there's some other guys that emerged in the series. We're trying to figure out the best matchups here as we go. So you'll see some different lineups today," he said.

But when the lineup came out 15 minutes before tipoff, he stuck with the same five.

Nurse had given some hints of what he was after, using words like intensity and physicality. He also cited the size of the Bucks' starting lineup.

"It's like 7-1 (seven foot one), 6-11, 6-11, 6-8, right. And we're not that big. So we go big to try and match them so we can look them in the eyeballs a little bit? Or do we go fast and quick so we can maybe go around them a little bit?"

Nurse did say he expected to give Norm Powell more minutes.

Milwaukee coach Mike Budenholzer was unfazed by the pre-game Raptor lineup talk.

"You can make a couple of guesses as the opponent to what the changes might be. But at the end of the day when they announce the lineups, we'll tell the guys who they're guarding and they'll be ready to do it," he said.

"Unless he's taking Kawhi Leonard out of the starting lineup, I think our guys will be prepared," he added dryly.

The Bucks went into Sunday's game on a six-game playoff win streak, matching the franchise post-season record. Milwaukee had won 10 of its 11 games this post-season.


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Neil Davidson, The Canadian Press

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