TORONTO – Fred VanVleet scored 29 points to lead the Raptors to a 97-93 victory over Milwaukee on Thursday, snapping the Bucks’ eight-game winning streak.

The Raptors (10-13) ended a four-game losing streak with just their second win in their last six games, and their third at home this season.

Pascal Siakam had 20 points and eight rebounds, while rookie Scottie Barnes had 13. Back after missing two games with a deep calf contusion, Gary Trent Jr. had eight points and eight rebounds.

Jrue Holiday scored 26 points to lead a Bucks team (14-9) missing star Giannis Antetokounmpo.

The Raptors were coming off a nasty 98-91 loss to Memphis, falling five in a row at home for the first time since January 2011. Siakam said after the loss to the Grizzlies that “the fans deserve better.”

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They were solid from the gate Thursday, holding the Bucks to a three-point lead and then building an 11-point lead of their own. They led 73-68 to start the fourth.

The Bucks came close to two early in the final frame, but VanVleet almost single-handedly led the Raptors in a 7-0 run to put them up by nine.

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A Sandro Mamukelashvili layup left the Bucks within two with 4:34 left, but the Raptors doubled over on the defensive end and when VanVleet smashed through a pair of Milwaukee defenders to the basket and scored, the Raptors came back up. by six with 3:06 to play. VanVleet raised his hands in the air to encourage Scotiabank Arena fans to cheer. They obeyed.

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However, Bobby Portis Jr. hit a triple with 33 seconds left to reduce the difference to three points. VanVleet drained a pair of free throws for a breather, but a pair of fouls in a row with 14 seconds left sent the Bucks to the free throw line for five shots. Two were lost.

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Precious Achiuwa missed a pair of free throws with 3.6 seconds left, but Barnes took the offensive rebound that nearly sealed the victory.

Toronto has been hit hard by injuries. OG Anunoby was out of his eighth straight game with a hip injury, and there is no timeline for his return, while Khem Birch remains out with a swollen knee.

The Bucks were also understaffed, losing a trio of big men at Antetokounmpo, Brook Lopez and DeMarcus Cousins.

Trent Jr., who wore a white and a black shoe, made his presence felt immediately, hitting a triple for the first points of the game.

“He’s obviously a scorer and a shooter and we could use as much of that as we can handle right now, that’s for sure,” coach Nick Nurse said before the game.

Toronto made six of 10 shots from long range in a solid first quarter and led 26-23 to start the second.

The Raptors kept up the momentum and when Achiuwa scored on a dunk, swinging from the rim like a gymnast on the high bar, Toronto went up by eight. The home team entered the locker room at halftime with a 48-40 lead.

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Chris Boucher, who has played sparingly the last few games, missed an easy layup and held his head with both hands in frustration. However, he did hit his next two shots, including a dunk that followed with a glance at the television camera.

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While Anunoby is still not practicing after his recovery recently stalled, Nurse sounded more hopeful about Birch.

“I think he’s getting better,” Nurse said. “He’s not in practice or anything, but I see him in the gym and he seems like he’s working pretty hard so I think he’s improving, hopefully he’ll be back soon.”

The Raptors’ seven-game home stay continues Sunday against Washington. Toronto is at home for 10 of its 13 games in December.

This Canadian Press report was first published on December 2, 2021.

© 2021 The Canadian Press



Reference-globalnews.ca

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