Shorthanded Raptors Can't Hang On Against Bucks
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April 11, 2011
MILWAUKEE WI (AP) -- If this was Michael Redd's last home game for the Milwaukee Bucks, at least he went out with a win.
Redd didn't play much in Milwaukee's 93-86 victory over the Toronto Raptors on Monday night, scoring two points on 1-for-6 shooting.
After knee injuries cost him most of the past two seasons, Redd has gone from being the face of the Bucks' franchise to being a bench player. His contract is up at the end of the season, and he hasn't spent much time thinking about what might be the end of his time in Milwaukee.
"I haven't," Redd said. "Before the game, people were mentioning it. I'm just focusing on being healthy and trying to win a ballgame tonight, so I wasn't really focusing on it too much. I know the connection here is special between myself, the city and the fans, so it's been an awesome 11 years."
With Redd potentially fading into the background, the Bucks turned to their new young star to salvage a win in their final home game of what has been a disappointing season.
Brandon Jennings broke free for three straight fast-break scores to give Milwaukee the lead in the fourth quarter, and the Bucks held on to beat the undermanned Raptors.
"We were able to get down and get a stretch of easy layups for a change instead of having the burden on our half-court offense to get shots," Bucks coach Scott Skiles said.
John Salmons scored 24 points and Jennings added 21. Drew Gooden had 19 points and 11 rebounds.
Jerryd Bayless scored 20 for Toronto in a matchup between two teams eliminated from playoff contention. The injury-riddled Raptors used only eight players - and it showed in the fourth quarter, when they committed six of their 20 turnovers.
"I think that's how the game went," Raptors coach Jay Triano said. "They wore us down in the second half."
The Raptors shot 23 free throws before halftime to the Bucks' 11, but struggled to get to the line in the second half.
"We didn't drive as much in the second half as I would have liked," Triano said. "Our guys were just worn down a little bit."
Bayless was unhappy with his six turnovers, including three in the fourth quarter.
"In the second half I was careless with the ball, I missed shots," Bayless said. "I played terrible."
Toronto finishes the season at home against Miami on Wednesday. The Bucks finish the season at Oklahoma City on Wednesday.
Redd, the Bucks' second-round pick in the 2000 NBA draft, is making approximately $18 million in the final year of a $91 million, six-year contract he signed in 2005. A productive scorer most of his Milwaukee career, Redd has missed most of the past two seasons because of two separate injuries to his left knee.
Redd has played sporadically off the bench since he returned to the court this year, and was on the bench to start Monday's game. The entire team was introduced before the final home game, and Redd received warm applause from the crowd when his name was called.
It wouldn't have taken long to introduce the entire Toronto squad. The Raptors brought only nine players to Milwaukee, then found out that forward Reggie Evans was unable to play because of a sore left index finger. Joey Dorsey started in his place.
Leandro Barbosa has a sore right pinky finger, Andrea Bargnani a sore right ankle, Jose Calderon a sore left hamstring, Amir Johnson a sore left ankle and Sonny Weems a sore right knee.
Still, Toronto controlled most of the game against a Milwaukee team that has played well on defense for most of the season but struggled to guard in recent games. Then the Raptors started turning the ball over, and the Bucks took advantage.
Trailing by two, the Bucks shot to an 81-77 lead with 5:31 left on three straight fast-break scores by Jennings, including an emphatic slam dunk.
Toronto later cut the lead to two with 1:33 left, but Gooden hit a layup and converted a three-point play to put the game out of reach.
NOTE: Toronto's James Johnson appeared to hurt his leg in the second quarter but returned to the game. ... Toronto's DeMar DeRozan took a shot to the head during a collision in the third quarter but returned. ... After an errant pass hit a fan sitting courtside, Bayless went over to make sure the fan was OK during a timeout.