The Raptors once again played hard, but weren’t able to make enough shots down the stretch tonight, dropping to a 7-11 record on the season. The performances by Giannis Antetokounmpo and Khris Middleton led the way for the Bucks, who defeated Toronto 115-108 and by virtue of tonight’s Boston loss, jump to second in the Eastern Conference.
Both teams started the game with lots of energy and continued to battle back and forth in a fast-paced matchup. Giannis Antetokounmpo and Khris Middleton both recorded double-doubles, and led the team with 24 points each. The 18 rebounds by Giannis is a season high and was a pivotal factor in the Bucks victory, as the Raptors were simply outplayed in the paint and outrebounded.
The Raptors were missing OG Anunoby, who was inactive due to a calf strain, but did have Pascal Siakam back in the lineup. Siakam scored 11 points on the night, while not attempting a free throw. Nick Nurse, the head coach of the Toronto Raptors, believes that the lingering injury made it tough for Siakam tonight and expects him to be healthier on Friday night.
In a game full of lead changes and swings, the Raptors ended the third quarter and began the fourth out-scoring the Bucks, going on an 11-0 scoring run to take the lead 84-83. Milwaukee came right back, scoring the next nine points and going on a run to lead by nine with under seven minutes to play.
After an ejection on Monday, Kyle Lowry had a much better shooting night, keeping the Raptors alive in the fourth quarter, making four of his six three’s and scoring 24 points total for the game. The Raptors were able to close the gap to four points with two minutes left but had some crucial misses down the stretch by Fred VanVleet, who shot 3-17 on the night.
Lowry also made history becoming the third player in Raptors history to surpass 10,000 points after he opened the scoring for Toronto with a three pointer in the first minute.
A game high 26 points on nearly 62% shooing from Norman Powell wasn’t enough for the Raptors as VanVleet, Siakam and Aron Baynes struggled from the field and were undersized in the post.
With tonight’s 7 point loss, eight of the Raptors 11 losses this year have come by single-digits. The team will look to put together a complete performance the next time they hit the court, Friday night against the Sacramento Kings.