Game Rap: Raptors 122, Bucks 100
Holly MacKenzie - Raptors.com
IT WAS OVER WHEN
DeMar DeRozan, Kyle Lowry and Lucas Nogueira checked out of the game with 2:36 remaining and the Raptors ahead by 20 points. Toronto finished the game with five reserves on the floor as they lead throughout in a 122-100 victory against the Milwaukee Bucks to move to 17-7 on the season.
The Raptors wasted little time getting things rolling on Monday, leading by 10 after a first quarter where they shot 57 percent from the floor to Milwaukee’s 46 percent. Things continued to go Toronto’s way in the second as the Raptors continued to fire and connect from deep. Thanks to making 8-of-14 attempts from beyond the arc — while Milwaukee had just one make in 13 attempts — the Raptors were able to build a 20-point advantage at the half. Among the more remarkable first-half statlines was DeMar DeRozan’s 16 points in 17 minutes on 3-for-3 field goals and 9-for-9 free throws.
LOOSENING UP IN THE THIRD
After that stellar offensive explosion in the first half, the Raptors let up on the defensive end of the floor in the third and the Bucks made them pay for it. Toronto was outscored 33-23 in the quarter as Milwaukee cut a 20-point halftime lead in half to go into the fourth trailing by 10 points. The Bucks shot 57 percent in the quarter to Toronto’s 44 percent, behind a 15-point effort from Giannis Antetokounmpo.
LOWRY + BENCH CLOSING THE DOOR
In the fourth quarter, the Kyle Lowry + reserves lineup quickly broke the game open again, turning a 92-82 lead to start the quarter into a 111-88 advantage at the 5:33 mark when DeMar DeRozan and DeMarre Carroll returned to the game. The Bucks wouldn’t get closer than 18 points the rest of the way through.
RAPTORS PLAYER OF THE GAME
Terrence Ross was fantastic off the bench, scoring 25 points in 21 minutes. He shot 10-for-17 from the floor, 4-for-6 from beyond the arc and 1-for-3 from the free throw line, while adding five rebounds and two steals. Raptors head coach Dwane Casey praised Ross’ play on both ends of the floor, signalling out his maturity and commitment to defence this season. Ross said he feels like his play is becoming more and more free and the team is building off the rhythm they have right now.
UNDERRATED RAPTORS PLAYER(S) OF THE GAME
The DeMar DeRozan and Kyle Lowry backcourt duo had yet another solid outing in a Raptors victory. DeRozan scored 30 points on just 7-for-11 field goals, making a perfect 15-for-15 free throws, while adding three rebounds and three assists in 32 minutes. The shots continued to fall from deep for Lowry as he finished with 18 points on 5-for-9 field goals, 4-for-7 three-point find goals and 4-for-4 free throws in 34 minutes. He also added three rebounds, seven assists and a steal. Toronto was a +29 when Lowry was on the floor.
THAT'S A RAP…
“We’re just in a rhythm, a really good rhythm right now. We’re moving the ball, playing fun, playing free, having fun on defence and offence. When you can get all that going for you, it’s a good thing, and it’s working for us.”
- Terrence Ross summing up a Raptors team that has won nine of its last 10 games
BY THE #’S
14…Three-pointers for the Raptors who shot 56 percent from deep (14-for-25). Milwaukee struggled from outside, shooting just 17 percent from beyond the arc (4-for-24).
54…Points in the paint for Milwaukee, 44 for Toronto.
23…Second chance points for the Raptors compared with 15 for the Bucks.
48…Rebounds for Toronto, 37 for Milwaukee. The Raptors also held a 16-12 edge on the offensive glass. Jonas Valanciunas led the way with a game-high 13 rebounds.
5…Players in double figures for Toronto: DeRozan with 30, Ross with 25, Lowry with 18, DeMarre Carroll with 13 and Valanciunas with 11.
100…The Raptors have now scored 100 points in 11 consecutive games, the longest active streak in the NBA. Toronto is averaging 116.1 points per game during the streak.
THEY SAID IT…
I think I know our defensive schemes but I also know, I’m getting better at understanding what the offence is trying to do, what they’re looking for, and understanding what the players are thinking, due to the scouts and studying other players. I think it’s just all coming together.”
- Terrence Ross on what has helped his defensive consistency this season
“The whole thing. Continuity, maturity, Father Time. He’s growing into his own skin, so to speak, the game is slowing down for him, there’s not a defence he hasn’t seen, guys holding and grabbing, top-blocking, switching, whatever it is. He’s seen it before. He’s more comfortable, like most young players in this league…He’s only going to continue to get better and better and continue to mature.”
- Dwane Casey on what has helped Terrence Ross’ evolving game this season
“He understands within the offence where his shots are coming from. There’s definite set plays run for him, he’s doing a better job of understanding how to play off Kyle and DeMar as everybody else is. That’s where the threes are coming from, playing off those two. I thought early in the year, everybody was not really sure, now there’s a definite rhythm to where they are and how they get their shots and it’s really helped T-Ross.”
- Dwane Casey on his team finding a rhythm from beyond the arc
“Yeah, we always got to lean on the things that we could be a lot better at, because at the end of the day, we still could be a lot better, especially defensively. We got to keep striving for that so once the real deal come around, we can win games defensively before offence.”
- DeMar DeRozan on Dwane Casey’s commitment to focusing on the team’s defensive effort
The Raptors will head to Philadelphia to take on the 76ers on Wednesday at 7 P.M. ET.