Milwaukee Bucks coach Jason Kidd has showered praise on Australians Matthew Dellavedova and Thon Maker after they played key roles in dismantling the Toronto Raptors to take a 2-1 lead in their NBA playoff series.
The Bucks, playing in front of a boisterous home crowd for the first time in the series, crushed the Raptors 104-77 on Thursday and need just two more wins to move on to the second round.
The Bucks jumped to a 32-12 first quarter lead, extended it to 57-30 at halftime and, shooting 52 per cent for the game, never let the Raptors back in.
"They ambushed us," Raptors coach Dwane Casey said.
Dellavedova harassed the Raptors' elite guards DeMar DeRozan and Kyle Lowry and was in potent shooting form, connecting with four of five field goal shots, including both three point attempts for 10 points.
DeRozan did not score a field goal, missing all eight attempts, while Lowry hit only four of 13 shots for 13 points.
After game one Casey accused Dellavedova of setting illegal screens and DeRozan and Lowry lost their cool against the tough Australian.
In the second quarter, directly in front of a referee, a frustrated Lowry lashed out with his arm toward Dellavedova's head.
"Everybody is going to complain about somebody who plays hard, which is unfortunate because as a player, a coach and as a team-mate that's what you want," Kidd, in his rave review of Dellavedova, told reporters.
"He does it every day in practice and in the game.
"That's Delly's DNA."
Maker, a 216cm tall 20-year-old who a year ago was in high school, has become a dynamic tandem with the Bucks' Greek 211cm-star, Giannis Antetokounmpo.
Maker, who has started in all of the Bucks' playoff games, showed his versatility with a three-pointer and a mix of dunks and deft touches for his 11 points.
Antetokounmpo had 19 points, eight rebounds, four assists and two blocks.
"Thon being long and being out there with Giannis on the floor, that's one of our strengths," Kidd, a 10-time NBA All-Star point guard, said.
Game four is in Milwaukee on Saturday.
The Memphis Grizzlies struck back for their first win in the series against Patty Mills' San Antonio Spurs.
Grizzlies, playing in Memphis, comprehensively beat the Spurs 105-94.
San Antonio lead the series 2-1.
Grizzlies' guard Mike Conley had 24 points, centre Marc Gasol dropped 21 points and forward Zach Randolph was a force with 21 points and eight rebounds.
Canberra point guard Mills bounced back from a rough game two shooting night with 11 points, including sinking three of his five three-pointers.
Spurs' staring point guard Tony Parker had a barren night, failing to score a point in 18 minutes on the court.
Game four is in Memphis on Saturday.
LeBron James' Cleveland Cavaliers have a commanding 3-0 lead in their series after eradicating a 25-point half-time deficit to beat the Indiana Pacers 119-114 in Indianapolis.
James had 41 points, 13 rebounds, 12 assists and two blocks in leading the largest halftime comeback in playoff history.
Game four is in Indianapolis on Sunday.