MILWAUKEE — With Toronto Raptors star Kyle Lowry sidelined after wrist surgery, the Milwaukee Bucks ended a seven-game losing streak to the Raptors by a score of 101-94.
Khris Middleton led the Bucks in scoring with a season-high 24 points, doing so playing in back-to-back games for the first time since returning from his torn hamstring that caused him to miss the first 50 games of the season. Giannis Antetokounmpo added 21 points, Malcolm Brogdon poured in 17, and Spencer Hawes provided 16 off the bench.
It was the first game action Hawes saw for Milwaukee since being traded from Charlotte last month. He played 17 minutes, adding eight rebounds and an assist.
”I’ve been fortunate to be in this league a long time now,” Hawes said. ”That experience kind of teaches you ups, downs, staying ready, being professional when your number’s called.”
Milwaukee used a 41-23 scoring advantage in the second quarter to take the lead for good, also out-rebounding Toronto 42-36. The transition points and bench scoring made up for the Bucks’ inability to convert from three-point range (22.2 percent, 6-27). Milwaukee was also able to hold DeMar DeRozan to single-digit scoring for the majority of the contest. He finished with 11 points on 5-of-13 shooting in 31 minutes of action.
TORONTO — For the seventh straight time, the Milwaukee Bucks fell to the Toronto Raptors, this time a 102-86 defeat Friday night at the Air Canada Centre.
All-Star Kyle Lowry scored 32 points to lead the Raptors to their 13th victory over the Bucks in the last 14 tries, snapping a five-game losing streak in the process. Norman Powell added 19 on 7-of-15 shooting, erasing Milwaukee’s only lead in the game in the early stages of the first quarter.
”That’s where the game was lost, right in the first few minutes of the game,” Bucks forward Jabari Parker said. ”We always trailed from there and it’s bad playing with a deficit.”
Parker led the Bucks with 21 points and 13 rebounds, followed by Giannis Antetokounmpo’s 19 points and eight assists. In addition to getting out-rebounded 47-43, Milwaukee committed 19 turnovers and shot just 30.4 percent (7-of-23) from three-point range.
It’s Milwaukee’s seventh loss in eight games, dropping them to 21-25 on the season and falling two games back of the Chicago Bulls for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.
TORONTO — The Milwaukee Bucks battled back from a 26-point deficit but the Toronto Raptors went on a 14-2 run to hold them off for a 122-100 win Monday night.
DeMar DeRozan led Toronto with 30 points, while the 14-2 run was sparked with seven points from Terrance Ross. Ross finished second on the team with 25 points, all off the bench.
The Bucks only lead of the game came in the first quarter, but their shooting woes from three-point range (4-of-24) prevented them from ever becoming a real threat. Milwaukee was outrebounded 48-37, eight of which were grabbed by Giannis Antetokounmpo. He added 30 points on 13-of-23 shooting.
Defense was another specific area of concern, said coach Jason Kidd.
”It was easy the whole night, no matter threes, layups, [the Raptors] were in character the whole night from the start,” Kidd said. ”We weren’t, we just didn’t put up any resistance, our defense was non-existent.”