Game Rap: Raptors 102, Bucks 86
Holly MacKenzie - Raptors.com
IT WAS OVER WHEN
Kyle Lowry checked out with 1:28 remaining and the Raptors ahead by 15 points. Lowry’s game-high 32 led the Raptors to a 102-86 victory to snap a five-game losing streak.
After weeks of talking about needing get off to better starts, the Raptors put together one of their best first quarters against the Bucks. Toronto shot 57 percent while holding Milwaukee to 47 percent shooting, but most telling was Toronto’s 10 assists on 13 made field goals. During Dwane Casey’s pre-game availability, he discussed how well the team had moved the ball in the previous meeting between the two teams. In the first quarter, Toronto looked like that team once again. Kyle Lowry led the way with 12 points and five of Toronto’s 10 assists.
SLUGGISH SECOND QUARTER
Both teams followed up the first quarter with a lacklustre second as neither topped 30 percent shooting. The Bucks connected on just 5-of-20 field goals (25 percent) in the quarter, while the Raptors were only slightly better, making 5-of-18 field goals (28 percent). Milwaukee outscored Toronto 20-17 in the quarter as the Raptors went into the break with a 53-39 lead behind an 18-point half from Kyle Lowry. The Raptors shot 54 percent from beyond the arc in the half, making 7-of-13 three-pointers. Milwaukee struggled from deep, making just 2-of-12 three-pointers in the half.
The Bucks outscored Toronto 31-24 in the third to trim their deficit to seven going into the fourth, but the Raptors did not stop pushing in the final 12 minutes. Toronto opened the final quarter on a 10-2 run, capped by a three-pointer from Patrick Patterson to put the Raptors ahead by 15 with 8:23 remaining. The Bucks would not get closer than nine the rest of the way through as Toronto held Milwaukee to 32 percent shooting in the quarter, outscoring the Bucks 25-16 to stretch the lead to 16 at the final buzzer.
RAPTORS PLAYER OF THE GAME
Kyle Lowry scored a game-high 32 pints on 9-for-18 field goals in 39 minutes of action. He shot 3-for-6 from beyond the arc and 11-of-14 free throws. Lowry also added three rebounds, six assists and a steal. The Raptors were a +20 when their three-time All-Star was on the floor.
UNDERRATED RAPTORS PLAYER(S) OF THE GAME
Norman Powell had another solid effort starting in place of DeMar DeRozan as he sits with a sprained ankle. Powell played 32 minutes against the Bucks, scoring 19 points on 7-for-15 field goals, including 2-for-3 on three-point field goals and 3-for-3 on free throws. He added six rebounds and an assist. Toronto was a +22 when Powell was on the floor.
THAT'S A RAP…
“I thought he stepped up. The bigger the moment, he performs, that’s the reason why he’s a three-time all-star.”
- Dwane Casey on Kyle Lowry’s 32-point performance
BY THE #’S
44…Percent shooting for Toronto, 39 for Milwaukee.
47…Rebounds for the Raptors, 43 for the Bucks. Each team had 12 offensive rebounds.
11…Blocks for Toronto compared to seven for Milwaukee. Lucas Nogueira had five blocks in 24 minutes to lead the Raptors.
40…Percent shooting from beyond the arc for Toronto, 30 percent from deep for Milwaukee. It was the first time Toronto has shot 40 percent from three in five games.
THEY SAID IT…
“We just played hard. I think we got out there, we were flying around and everyone was kind of just, we needed to get off the losing streak and I think everyone felt that tonight and we had the opportunity to do it so Friday night and our home crowd, we tried to do the best to win the game and we did that.”
- Kyle Lowry on the team’s effort in Friday’s victory
“From jump ball, we were physical getting into them, whether it was off screens, in the post, rebounding, or trying to take away what they like to do as much as possible. We know that they’re a young talented team with the Greek Freak [Giannis Antetokounmpo] and Jabari and the rest of the team. They all pick up the slack. We just wanted them to make them as uncomfortable as possible. And I thought we did that from the first quarter.”
- Patrick Patterson on the team’s defensive effort against a young and talented Bucks squad
“Yeah, those are our two all-stars, Kyle and DeMar and we know we go as they go. Kyle came out aggressive on both ends. Dove on the floor got a foul, went to the free throw line, those are the plays we need to make throughout the course of the game. Those are winning plays for us. I think all 15 of us, everybody that suited up today really came out with that chip on their shoulder to get the monkey off our back tonight, especially at home. We have to continue to keep that aggression, our hunger.”
- Norman Powell on Kyle Lowry’s aggressive stat to set the tone
“That’s what we’ve got to do, most important is we have to play with an edge, that spark, that swagger. We’ve kind of been moping, in second gear, and tonight I thought we were zinging around and zipping around on both ends of the floor. That’s the way we have to play. We can’t go and just out-power somebody or go toe-to-toe with somebody, we have to play with that zip, the ball going side to side.”
- Dwane Casey on a solid start from his team and 10 assists on 13 field goals in the first quarter
“I think we were just flying all around the floor. I think we rebounded the ball well, but I think we were active in flying all over the floor, getting our hands-on basketballs. I think dc [DeMarre Carroll] did a great job tonight.”
- Kyle Lowry on the difference on the defensive end of the floor against the Bucks
The Raptors will face the Orlando Magic at the Air Canada Centre on Sunday at 6 P.M. ET.