Raptorsí Late Rally Beats Bucks
Toronto 97, Milwaukee 96
TORONTO, March 17 (Ticker) -- The Toronto Raptors gave their fans a victory to remember in a season to forget.
Chris Bosh tallied 27 points and 10 rebounds and Mike James and rookie Charlie Villanueva scored 14 apiece as the Raptors rallied in the fourth quarter for a 97-96 triumph over the Milwaukee Bucks.
"We were down by about 12," Bosh said. "It's the NBA (and) we can easily put a run together. They gave us a little daylight and we made something out of nothing."
Trailing 94-78, Toronto began its comeback when Matt Bonner hit a 3-pointer with 5:28 to go. Villanueva made 4-of-4 free throws and a 3-pointer, Bosh hit two foul shots and Morris Peterson sank a basket to cut the deficit to 94-92 with 1:30 left.
"We knew we were in the bonus, so we were going to keep attacking them," Villanueva said. "We weren't shooting the ball well, so we were going to try to get to the free-throw line and get points from there and that's what we did."
After Milwaukee's Michael Redd made a layup with 37 seconds to play, James nailed a 3-pointer from the left corner, bringing Toronto within 96-95.
"I couldn't lose confidence in myself," James said. "T.J. (Ford) was playing good defense on me and I got daylight and made the shot."
Redd missed a 3-pointer with 13 seconds to play, and the Raptors quickly worked the ball to Bosh, who was fouled while driving the lane. The All-Star made both free throws to put Toronto in front with 3.4 seconds left.
"Give Toronto credit," Bucks coach Terry Stotts said. "They made a lot of shots but we didn't close the game out. We missed shots in the fourth quarter and they missed shots. They got hot from the 3-point line. This was a game that we needed to have and we should have come away with a win."
On Milwaukee's final possession, Charlie Bell's 20-footer from the left side bounced off the rim as time expired.
Peterson scored 12 points for Toronto, which made 11-of-22 from the arc and 22-of-23 foul shots.
Bobby Simmons scored 21 points, Redd added 17 and Ford 14 for the Bucks (32-33), who remained seventh in the Eastern Conference, 1 1/2 games behind Washington.
"We were up a lot," Redd said. "It's frustrating to lose this game, especially a game that we have to have. Washington lost tonight, so we could have made ground up tonight."
"Your main focus as a team is to win," Simmons said. "I think collectively as a team, everybody knows that we let this game slip away. Hopefully, it won't come back to haunt us in the end."