Friday, 18 October, 2019

Bucks beat Raptors for second time this season as Lowry goes scoreless

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Shannon Reynolds | 11 December, 2018, 15:30

On Sunday, it was the sharpshooting of Malcolm Brogdon (who hit tying and go-ahead triples during the final minute-plus of the contest), the all-around effort of Khris Middleton, Eric Bledsoe's presence around the perimeter and Brook Lopez's down low-all in tandem with Antentokounmpo's 19 points, 19 rebounds and six assists-that produced one of the most exciting matchups of the season thus far.

Fred VanVleet scored 19 points and Pascal Siakam had 17 for the Raptors, whose 21-7 record is best in the National Basketball Association. As Khadrice Rollins noted in last week's power rankings, Toronto's roster, headlined by Kawhi Leonard and Kyle Lowry, makes Nick Nurse's squad a legitimate championship contender.

This will probably be the toughest week of the Raptors regular season, with a brutal four-game west coast road trip kicking off Tuesday night in Los Angeles against the Clippers, but it began with a game Sunday evening against the team chasing the Raptors for first place in the East, the Milwaukee Bucks.

Griffin scored 35 points for Detroit, Andre Drummond had 23 points and 19 rebounds, and Langston Galloway added a season-best 24 off the bench.

Beneath the pretty 3-point shooting (19-of-46, 41.3 percent) and the exemplary ball movement (32 assists on 40 field goals) was a defense that squeezed and scratched and scuffled the Bucks into the longest night of their impressive season.

Milwaukee rallied to an 11-point lead in the fourth quarter - the biggest of the night.

The Hornets opened the second quarter on a 7-0 run, but the Knicks responded by scoring the next six points to pull to 34-30. It was close enough that coach Mike Budenholzer put most of his starters back in the game until the closing minutes. Their losses have tended to come when overlooking a lesser opponent. I thought it was our best defensive game of the year. "He's just got to keep being himself and they're going to fall". He played sporadic minutes this season for the Bucks.

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Brogdon scored 18 points.

The Bucks led by as much as 11 points in that fourth period, as they went up 85-74 on a pair of Snell free throws.

George Hill was recently traded by the Cleveland Cavaliers (per ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski and Brian Windhorst) and although I'm 100 percent a fan of trading Hill and enabling Collin Sexton to get more playing time as a primary playmaker, it was refreshing to see how the veteran handled his last days in Cleveland.

"We were embarrassed", Klay Thompson said. He tied a career-best with 6 three-pointers. "This is a team we could play later on", Warriors coach Steve Kerr told reporters in Milwaukee as reported by NBC Bay Area.

Raptors are too good at home and will continue that tonight. I've got to be a little bit more inside the paint, inside the arc.

Hill and Smith joined the team Sunday in Toronto but did not suit up for the Bucks' 104-99 victory.

Tony Parker scored 16 points, Marvin Williams had 13 and Cody Zeller finished with 12 as Charlotte led by as many as 28 points in a game it never trailed. His transition dunk after a turnover with 2:08 left in the second quarter gave Milwaukee a 57-36 lead.

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