Raptors Struggle Defensively In Home Loss To Bucks
Top Plays: JJ Throws Down The Hammer| Bayless To Davis For The Slam
Post Game: Highlights | Casey | DeRozan | J. Johnson
February 8, 2012
TORONTO (AP) Feeling comfortable in his former home, Carlos Delfino gave the Milwaukee Bucks a rare road win.
Delfino made six of eight 3-pointers and scored a season-high 25 points, Drew Gooden had 20 points and 14 rebounds and the Bucks snapped a three-game losing streak, beating the Toronto Raptors 105-99 on Wednesday night.
Mike Dunleavy scored 16 of his 18 points in the second quarter and Stephen Jackson had 17 as the Bucks won for the seventh time in eight games against Toronto.
"Carlos was huge," Gooden said. "It was kind of like him and Dunleavy were Siamese twins. Dunleavy had it going in the first half and Carlos got it going for us in the second half. That was big."
Delfino, who matched season highs with nine rebounds and four steals, acknowledged feeling comfortable in returning to the arena where he played his home games in 2007-08.
"There's an extra juice you have in your body," he said. "You feel like you're at home."
That comfort proved vital for the Bucks, who came in 3-10 away from home, the third-worst road record in the East. All three of their previous road wins came between Jan. 20 and 25 with victories at New York, Miami and Houston.
"We haven't been the best on the road this year," Gooden said, "but we're steadily trying to creep up and get back to the .500 mark and we need road wins to do that."
Delfino's contribution was especially important given the lack of production from Brandon Jennings, Milwaukee's leading scorer. One night after finishing with a season-low three points in a 107-105 loss to Phoenix, Jennings was kept quiet again, making just three of 12 field-goal attempts and missing six of seven from beyond the arc. Eight of his 11 points came in the final quarter.
"They were trapping him pretty hard tonight," Bucks coach Scott Skiles said of Jennings' apparent lack of aggressiveness.
Gooden, however, wasn't concerned about Jennings' poor shooting.
"He's just in a bad slump for two games," Gooden said. "That's nothing. If he hits a couple of shots, he'll get it going and he'll be back in no time."
DeMar DeRozan scored 25 points and James Johnson had 15 for the Raptors, who have lost three straight and five of six. Linas Kleiza scored 12 points and Leandro Barbosa 11, and Jose Calderon had 15 assists.
DeRozan said Toronto's biggest defensive letdown was a failure to close out on long-range shooters.
"We've got to run the 3-pointers off the line and trust our help," DeRozan said. "That's one thing we didn't do. We kept letting them line up 3's and knock them down."
Milwaukee led 76-73 to begin the fourth and pushed its lead to six points on a 3 by Delfino before Toronto's Rasual Butler made back-to-back 3's and Barbosa added a driving layup.
Jackson hit a 3 to restore Milwaukee's lead, but Kleiza hit two free throws to give Toronto a one-point edge.
The Bucks responded by taking the lead for good on a pair of free throws by Dunleavy with 6:55 left. Gooden made one of two and Jennings hit a 3 to make it 88-83 with 5:48 remaining.
Kleiza and Milwaukee's Larry Sanders were called for technicals after shoving each other under the Toronto basket midway through the fourth. Barbosa stepped between them to break up the minor scuffle.
Gooden had 13 points in the opening quarter but DeRozan had eight as Toronto scored 29 first-quarter points, a season high, to lead 29-28 after one. It marked the first time the Raptors had led after the first since Jan. 13 against Indiana. Toronto also lost that one, 95-90.
Dunleavy made six of seven shots in the second quarter, including three of four 3-pointers, and scored 16 points. Jackson added eight as the Bucks led 58-51 at the break.
"We came to the game focused tonight and we need to play like that more often," Jackson said.
Milwaukee's 58 points in the opening half were the most by a Raptors opponent this season.
Notes: Gooden had a season-high 15 rebounds at Chicago on Jan. 27. ... Bucks F Ersan Ilyasova missed the game because of back spasms. ... After matching a season-high with seven assists, Raptors G Jerryd Bayless left in the third quarter with a sore left ankle and did not return. ... Calderon had a season-high 17 assists in a win over Washington on Feb. 3. ... Toronto opened a seven-game homestand, matching a franchise high. After playing 17 of their first 26 games on the road, the Raptors play 12 of their next 15 at home.