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Raptors Fade Late In Close Loss To Bucks At ACC

Related: Box Score | Photo Gallery | Devlin & Bargnani
Top Plays: Johnson To Johnson | Barbosa's Near Buzzer Beater | Amir With The Putback | Hustle & Muscle
Post-Game: Dwane Casey | DeMar DeRozan | Andrea Bargnani | Jerryd Bayless

March 11, 2012

TORONTO (CP) A few bad possessions sent the Toronto Raptors to yet another close defeat.

Ersan Ilyasova's 31 points and 12 rebounds led the visiting Milwaukee Bucks to a 105-99 win over the Raptors on Sunday.

Drew Gooden chipped in with 21 points for the Bucks (17-24) while Mike Dunleavy came off the bench to contribute 19 points, including a key three-pointer in the fourth quarter that helped his team pull ahead for good.

Toronto (13-28) has lost four of its last six games, three of them by six points or fewer.

``Three possessions is kind of our same song,'' Raptors head coach Dwane Casey said. ``Somewhere in the game we have a stretch where we have three possessions where we just don't execute, don't complete the play, don't finish the play.''

DeMar DeRozan led the way for the Raptors with 21 points while Jerryd Bayless had 16 points and six rebounds in a starting role for injured point guard Jose Calderon.

``We've been in so many close games it's just kind of frustrating and the pattern keeps on continuing,'' Bayless said. ``We're still a young team, we're learning and it's a process that we have to go through to get to where we want to be.''

Leandro Barbosa made a big contribution off the bench for Toronto in the first half. The Brazilian scored 10 points in the first half but only picked up two in the second.

  RAPTORS REMARKS

"Somewhere in the game we have a stretch of about three possessions where we just don’t execute, don’t complete a play or finish the play. The other team can come down fumble, throw it out of bounds, roll the ball, catch it and throw in a three. That’s kind of our M.O."
-- Dwane Casey, on the fourth quarter
"We know how good he is and I need him back, everybody needs him back, and when he gets back to the level that he was at we are going to be a very dangerous team."
-- Jerryd Bayless, on Andrea Bargnani
"Especially coming back home, the energy from the crowd really had us going. Everybody came out tonight, especially from a tough game like last night we tried to bring it tonight but it just didn’t fall through for us at the end."
-- DeMar DeRozan, on second-half energy

Raptors coach Dwane Casey wasn't pleased with the opening his team gave him in Saturday's 105-86 loss to the Pistons in Detroit, but the Raptors had a much better start Sunday by hitting their first six shots from the field.

``The energy from the crowd really had us going,'' DeRozan said of his team's hot start. ``Especially after a tough game Saturday night, we tried to bring it tonight but it just didn't follow through at the end.''

The Raptors held a nine point lead after the first quarter and a five-point lead at the half. Their lead was down to a single point after the third quarter before the Bucks pulled away in the fourth.

Toronto's lead got as high as 13 points in the second quarter.

It was a much different start to the second half as Toronto only hit five shots from the field and saw the Bucks chip away until tying the game with just over four minutes remaining in the third.

The Raptors also turned the ball over six times in the third quarter as the Bucks took their first lead of the game with just over two minutes remaining in the quarter after a pair Ilyasova free throws to make it 75-74.

Barbosa hit a three in the final minute to give the Raptors a one point lead heading to the final quarter at 79-78.

  BY THE NUMBERS

6 Consecutive losses for the Raptors against the Bucks
1-10 Raptors record this season when they allow 100 points or more
123 Consecutive starts for DeMar DeRozan, passing Damon Stoudemire for the 2nd-longest streak in team history
35-19 Free throw attempts favouring the Bucks
1-19 Raptors record this season when shooting a lower field goal percentage than its opponent

The teams went back and forth in the final frame with seven lead changes in the first nine minutes of the fourth.

Dunleavy's three-pointer with 4:45 left in the fourth gave the Bucks the lead at 94-93 and Ilyasova scored with a jumper shot on their very next possession.

``They were knocking down tough shots,'' said DeRozan. ``They executed really well and got some easy shots and rebounds that we missed that they got back and got second chance points on that definitely hurt us.''

Beno Udrih gave the Bucks a four point lead after hitting a pair of free throws. The Raptors were only able to get as close as two points as their shooting went cold down the stretch.

The Bucks down to just 10 healthy players against Toronto.

``I was really tired in the third quarter,'' Ilyasova said. ``I just tried to keep on going.''

He was fading again in the fourth, but stayed on the floor all the way to the finish.

``In the fourth quarter, I was looking at the clock and there were still six minutes left,'' Ilyasova said. ``I just said, 'We can make it. Just stick with the plan.'''

Notes: Jose Calderon is day-to-day after rolling his ankle in Saturday's loss to the Detroit Pistons. ...Andrea Bargnani made his first appearance on home court since Jan. 11 against Sacramento.