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Nick Nurse shows some teeth, believes Raptors can change series

History isn’t on the Toronto Raptors’ side down two games to none in the Eastern Conference Finals against the Milwaukee Bucks.

Head coach Nick Nurse doesn’t seem to mind, though.

“That can't be right,” Nurse said on Saturday, drawing laughs, when informed that 94 percent of teams with 2-0 leads in a best-of-seven series in NBA history have gone on to win, according to ESPN’s Tim Bontemps.

“That can't be right,” he said again. “Check the figures.”

His tone then switching, Nurse drew an example from the leftover six percent, and the Oklahoma City Thunder’s six-game series win over San Antonio after falling down 2-0 in 2012, before re-focusing on what the Raptors have to do to turn their fortunes around.

"I don't really give a crap about (history). I just want our team to come play their ass off (Sunday night) and get one game, and it changes the series."

While Nurse was willing to move on from the numbers, they can’t be ignored. And they’re not pretty if the Raptors hope to advance to their first NBA Finals in franchise history.

In the 56 instances where a squad has won the first two games of a conference final, only five have resulted in a successful comeback by the opponent. That’s a success rate of 91.1%.

After letting the first contest of the matchup slip through its fingers, Toronto was throughly outplayed by Milwaukee on Friday night in Wisconsin. In falling 125-103 at Fiserv Forum, the Raptors return to Scotiabank Arena in need of answers in front of their home crowd.

The Raptors are 5-2 in the playoffs on their home floor and have won their last two postseason games north of the border. During the 2018-19 regular season, Toronto posted a record of 32-9 at home.

Two of those losses, however, came at the hands of Milwaukee.

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