With their season seemingly on the line, the Toronto Raptors responded with an 87-76 win over the Milwaukee Bucks in Game 4 of their best-of-seven series on Saturday.
After not making a field goal in a blowout loss in Game 3 on Thursday night, Toronto All-Star DeMar DeRozan was the best player on the court, scoring 33 points, grabbing nine rebounds, handing out five assists and collecting four steals.
But Milwaukee didn’t lose the game on the defensive end. The series is tied at two games apiece because the Bucks couldn’t take care of the ball and couldn’t make a shot. Coach Jason Kidd’s team turned the ball over 20 times, including seven by Giannis Antetokounmpo, while shooting just 37 percent from the field and 23.8 percent from beyond the arc.
Antetokounmpo had a series-low 14 points, while guard Khris Middleton could manage just 10 points on 4 of 13 shooting. Defensive specialist Tony Snell led the team with 19 points, including hitting all five of Milwaukee’s 3-pointers.
The loss gives Toronto home-court advantage back as the series now because a best-of-three, starting with Game 5 on Monday at the Air Canada Centre.
CHARLOTTE — Tony Snell scored a season-high 26 points to lead the Milwaukee Bucks past the Charlotte Hornets Tuesday night 118-108, maintaining Milwaukee’s position in the playoff race.
Snell’s 26 points came on 10-of-14 shooting and was backed up by 14 points and 10 rebounds by rookie Malcolm Brogdon. But their efforts were opened up by the combined 34 points from Giannis Antetokounmpo and Khris Middleton.
”It’s a credit to Giannis and Khris [Middleton],” Snell said. ”They draw a lot of attention and there was good ball movement. It was a good night.”
Milwaukee never trailed in the contest — one where the Bucks held an edge in nearly every statistical category aside from turnovers. They lost that battle 14-2. Milwaukee’s efficiency from the field (62.2 percent shooting) forced Charlotte to play from behind, where their three-point attempts were converted at a clip of just 25 percent (7-of-28).
The win not only allowed Milwaukee to hold onto a tie for fifth place in the Eastern Conference standings with eight games to play, but it secured a series win over Charlotte for the first time since the 2011-2012 season.
MILWAUKEE — The Milwaukee Bucks picked up their sixth win in a row Saturday night by defeating the Minnesota Timberwolves 102-95 at the BMO Harris Bradley Center.
Milwaukee is starting to figure out how to win without gaudy numbers from Giannis Antetokounmpo, taking advantage of double digit scoring by seven players en route to the win. Tony Snell led the Bucks with 19 points, while Antetokounmpo added 18.
”We’d love for everybody to score 10 points but the big thing is these guys kept fighting,” Bucks coach Jason Kidd said. ”There are a lot of tired bodies in that locker room.”
The six-game winning streak is the longest Milwaukee has had since the 2011-2012 season. The current run has also placed the Bucks into playoff contention, currently holding what would be the eighth and final playoff spot with about 2 ½ weeks to play.
”You’ve got to play for today,” Kidd said. ”You can’t control the lottery balls. You never know what the future holds. With free agency and the way things change so fast in this league, you have to try to get through that process sooner rather than later.”
It’s the fifth straight game Milwaukee has held its opponent under 100 points — a season-best streak.
PHILADELPHIA — Giannis Antetokounmpo and Tony Snell helped the Milwaukee Bucks to their third consecutive win, taking down the Philadelphia 76ers 112-98 Monday night.
Antetokounmpo had 24 points, eight rebounds, and five assists, while Tony Snell scored 18 of his season-high 21 points in the first half. Snell added seven rebounds and two steals in the effort.
”Right now we’re playing our best basketball,” Antetokounmpo said. ”Everybody is playing hard, we’re playing team basketball and we’re making a (playoff) push. That’s great for us right now.”
The Bucks led from the get-go, leading by as many as 27 points and beating the 76ers for the first time in three tries this season. Philadelphia couldn’t shoot itself back into the game, converting on just 8-of-30 (26.7 percent) of its three-point attempts.
A strange trend forming for Milwaukee is the “John Henson effect.” The Bucks are 7-0 in their last seven games when Henson doesn’t get playing time, but 0-5 in their last five games where he takes the court.
MILWAUKEE — Milwaukee Bucks guard Tony Snell went up for a shot with 8.3 seconds remaining, draining the three-point attempt to give Milwaukee a 100-96 win over the Phoenix Suns.
The play was set up by an in-bounds pass from Greg Monroe to Giannis Antetokounmppo, who killed some clock before passing to Malcolm Brogdon, who then eventually found Snell wide open. Milwaukee was nursing a one-point lead with 29.1 seconds remaining.
”It was a great read by Giannis to be patient and to understand what was about to take place,” Bucks coach Jason Kidd said. ”He read the situation and there was a lot of trust. He made a pass to Malcolm, who could have shot it, but he made the extra pass and Tony ended up with the open shot.”
There were no harsh criticisms on social media for Snell, who logged a near NBA record zero points, rebounds, assists, or steals in 28 minutes of play during Friday’s loss to the Utah Jazz. This time, he was a main contributor, pouring in 13 points on 5-of-9 shooting, while adding three rebounds and two assists.
Antetokounmpo recorded a game-high 28 points, while Brogdon added 15 points and seven assists. Milwaukee overcame a rebounding deficit of 42-33 in favor of Phoenix, which now drops its fourth consecutive game to Milwaukee and 12th over the last 15.
MILWAUKEE — The Milwaukee Bucks picked up their first win of the season in dramatic fashion Saturday night, using a John Henson tip-in at the buzzer to beat the Brooklyn Nets 110-108.
“[Jabari Parker] made a great drive to the basket, I just happened to be in the right spot to finish,” Henson said of the final play. “It was perfect timing because we wanted to take the last shot and then he gave us a chance to get the rebound, too. It worked out in my favor.”
Henson would finish with seven points on 3-of-6 shooting. Perhaps the biggest surprise was Rashad Vaughn logging a career-high 22 points on 6-of-12 shooting from beyond the arc.
Tony Snell made his Bucks debut, playing 20 minutes and recording six points (3-7 FG, 0-3 3FG) as he returned from an ankle sprain.
MILWAUKEE — Milwaukee Bucks General Manager John Hammond announced Monday that the team has acquired fourth-year guard Tony Snell from the Chicago Bulls in exchange for fourth-year guard Michael Carter-Williams.
In three games to date during the 2016 preseason, Snell, 24, has averaged 9.7 points, 3.0 rebounds and 1.0 steals in 16.0 minutes. He appeared in 64 games (33 starts) for the Bulls last season and averaged 5.3 points, 3.1 rebounds and 1.0 assists in 20.3 minutes per contest. The 20th overall pick in the 2013 NBA Draft out of the University of New Mexico, Snell has played in 213 career games (67 starts) for the Bulls, and averaged 5.3 points, 2.3 rebounds and 0.9 assists. In his last two seasons, Snell has shot 37.1 percent (2014-15) and 36.1 percent (2015-16) from the three-point arc.
Carter-Williams, 25, appeared in 54 games (37 starts) for the Bucks last season and averaged 11.5 points, 5.2 assists and 5.1 rebounds in 30.5 minutes per game. Originally drafted by Philadelphia in the 2013 NBA Draft (11th overall) out of Syracuse, he was acquired by Milwaukee in a trade on Feb. 19, 2015, and has appeared in 190 career games with the 76ers and Bucks.
MILWAUKEE — The Milwaukee Bucks and Chicago Bulls have agreed to a trade that would send Michael Carter-Williams to the Bulls and Tony Snell to Milwaukee.
The transaction hasn’t been made official, but paperwork is expected to be completed on Monday, reports Charles Gardner of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
The move would end a cycle of poor play from Carter-Williams since coming to Milwaukee in a three-way trade during the 2014-15 season. He’s shot just 22.9 percent from beyond the arc in his time with the Bucks. After sending Tyler Ennis to the Houston Rockets in exchange for Michael Beasley, Miles Plumlee is the only remaining piece of the 76ers and Suns trade.
After losing Khris Middleton for at least six months due to a torn hamstring, the Bucks were looking for additional shooting, which MCW wasn’t providing.
Tony Snell is a career 35.1 percent three-point shooter, converting on 39.6 percent of his shots from the field. Snell would have likely seen his playing time diminish greatly this year with the Bulls adding Dwyane Wade to a mix including Jimmy Butler and Doug McDermott.