This was not a night for offence as the Raptors slogged through a 38-point first half, but defended well enough to find themselves down by just two at the break. The third quarter saw the Raptors continue their shooting woes, while the Bucks began to widen their lead.
The key stretch came early in the fourth after Andrea Bargnani's hook shot pulled Toronto to within 68-62 with 10:45 to play. John Salmons quickly replied with a 3-pointer which sparked a 14-0 Milwaukee run and it was lights out.
Strong overall performance at both ends of the floor for Andrew Bogut, who balanced an efficient scoring night (14 points 6-8 FGM-A) with some solid defensive play -- including five blocked shots and countless others altered.
“I think our defence was the key," said Bogut post-game. "We kept them at 36 per cent from the field; they didn’t hit a three on us, didn’t get to the line too much. So, you know, we could afford to struggle offensively at times; we tried to make a concerted effort tonight on defence.”
DeMar DeRozan seemed poised for a big night after a hot first half that saw him go six-of-seven from the floor for 12 points. But even though he was the only Raptor to shoot better than 50 per cent for the game, he didn't shoot much in the final two frames and went on to finish with 18 points.
Beyond the scoring however, is his recent uptick in rebounding. With seven boards on the night, the shooting guard has averaged 5.2 rebounds per game over his last eight contests -- up from his season average of 3.6.
"It’s disappointing because we just didn’t have enough guys play well. Three of our starters really struggled shooting the basketball. I think that we battled defensively to stay close and stay in it -- hoping that we were going to get a run going or somebody was going to make some shots. But when you're struggling like that, confidence kind of waned a little bit as this game wore on."
- Jay Triano, on the offence
Wed., Feb. 9 vs. San Antonio
7:00 PM ET, TSN2, FAN590
The Raptors are right back on a plane to Toronto, where they'll open a four-game homestand beginning with the league's best team in the San Antonio Spurs (42-8). The Raps had a huge first half against the Spurs at AT&T Center on January 19, but collapsed in the third quarter en route to a 104-95 defeat. The Raptors defeated the Spurs at ACC last season 91-86.
|10||Consecutive road losses for the Raptors|
|0-6||Raptors record when shooting under 40% this season|
|3-23||Raptors record when scoring under 100 points|
|5-32||Combined shooting for Jose Calderon, Amir Johnson and Sonny Weems|
|6-7||Shooting in the first half for DeMar DeRozan|
|"John Salmons was a problem all night, we couldn’t guard the pick-and-roll and he had a great game."|
- Andrea Bargnani on defending the Bucks
|"It was better tonight, for sure. Did a nice job on (Andrea) Bargnani; I thought Ers (Ersan Illyasova) and Luc (Mbah a Moute) both did a nice job on him."|
- Bucks head coach Scott Skiles on his team's defence
|"We just let it get away and that can’t happen especially when it’s a two-point game at halftime."|
- DeMar DeRozan, on the second half