For the second time in the space of three days, the Toronto Raptors got the best of the Milwaukee Bucks, cruising to a 110-96 win at Fiserv Forum.
Minus Kyle Lowry, who missed the game with a thumb injury, Norman Powell led the Raptors with 29 points, while Pascal Siakam continued his good run of form with 27 points, six assists and five rebounds and Fred VanVleet 17 points and eight assists.
Norman Powell (29 PTS) and Pascal Siakam (27 PTS) push the @Raptors past Milwaukee! #WeTheNorth pic.twitter.com/3lTwCeXHhy- NBA (@NBA) February 19, 2021
Giannis Antetokounmpo led the Bucks with 23 points, 12 rebounds and eight assists, but it wasn't enough as they slumped to their fifth-straight loss - their first five-game losing streak since 2017.
For more on the Raptors' win, here are some takeaways at the buzzer...
1. Staying small
For the second-straight game, the Raptors rolled with OG Anunoby in the starting lineup, with Deandre Bembry starting in place of Lowry.
Chris Boucher saw just 22 minutes, while Aron Baynes played just 15 minutes as the nimble starting lineup more than made up for their size disadvantage with a hard-nosed effort on the defensive end.
Raptors improve to 4-0 without Lowry, with wins over Sacramento (+21), Miami (+20), Indy (+5) & Milwaukee (+14). They're also 2-0 when he's left early, with wins over Memphis (+15) & Milwaukee (+11). They're 16-2 without him over the last 2 seasons.- Josh Lewenberg (@JLew1050) February 19, 2021
(Please don't read into this)
2. Norm Powell goes supernova
The Bucks had no answer for Norm Powell, who started the game with a bang, dropping 15 points in the opening quarter on 5-of-5 shooting and 3-of-3 from deep.
His fast start helped the Raptors get out to a 33-26 lead at the first break and they didn't look back.
Powell matched his season-high with 29 points on 9-of-12 shooting and 4-of-7 from three, adding four rebounds, three assists and two steals.
Mans hot.- Toronto Raptors (@Raptors) February 19, 2021
15p | 3 3pm pic.twitter.com/RVOprUAFFa
3. Defence, defence, defence
Head coach Nick Nurse will be more than happy with the Raptors' effort on the defensive end tonight as they smothered the Bucks' shooters and closed down space in the paint, forcing Antetokounmpo into traffic.
VanVleet's strip on Antetokounmpo summed up their night:
🗣️ ALL-DEFENCE- Toronto Raptors (@Raptors) February 19, 2021
Cc: @FredVanVleet pic.twitter.com/brViR2d4GS
Khris Middleton was held to just 13 points on 5-of-13 shooting and 0-for-3 from beyond the arc, as the Raptors forced the ball out of his hands. Milwaukee shot just 39.3 percent from the field and 28.6 percent from three-point range on the night.
The Bucks' 96 points is their lowest score this season and the first time they've been held under 100 points. A huge effort from Toronto on the road against a team with the second-best offence in the league, behind only the Brooklyn Nets.
Toronto generated a ton of easy points through their defence, forcing 15 turnovers which they converted into 24 points.
4. Bucks offence grinds to a halt
Without Jrue Holiday, the Bucks are having a tough time offensively, missing a player of his calibre who can create his own shot and get to the free-throw line.
In the second quarter they couldn't muster anything, scoring just 15 points on 6-of-17 shooting, including an 0-of-7 from deep, their lowest total in any quarter this season.
That included a five-minute stretch without a field goal, which allowed Toronto to take a 17-point lead at the half.
5. A frustrating night for Giannis
After a slow first half, Antetokounmpo tried to will the Bucks back into the contest in the third quarter scoring 11 of the team's 31 points, cutting a 23-point deficit to 13 (85-72) heading into the fourth.
He scored just thee points in the fourth quarter and fouled out with 1:19 remaining in the game.
The Bucks have 13 losses in 29 games this season.- ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) February 19, 2021
They didn't record their 13th loss until game 67 last season, which occurred in the bubble. pic.twitter.com/Iig5uE6Ah3
6. Siakam continues to shine
Siakam's recent resurgence took another big step forward with one of his more impressive performances of the season.
He poured in 27 points, six rebounds and five assists on an efficient 9-of-18 shooting, 2-of-4 from deep and 8-of-8 at the line. That makes it eight games with 25+ points this season, his third 20/5/5 game and 12th game with 5+ assists.
🗣️ AND-1- Toronto Raptors (@Raptors) February 19, 2021
25 Pts | 6 Reb | 5 Ast pic.twitter.com/9dwBjjTgfH
Across his last six games, Siakam is averaging 24.8 points, 6.8 rebounds, 4.5 assists and 1.2 steals on 46.4 percent from the field and 48.4 percent from the 3-point line
7. Anunoby's got dimes!
Anunoby turned it on in the fourth quarter with his aggressive play, none better than this wrap-around dime to Bembry for the wide-open jam.
cool pass, @OAnunoby pic.twitter.com/K134LezNiJ- Toronto Raptors (@Raptors) February 19, 2021
8. What's next?
The Raptors (14-15) will visit the Minnesota Timberwolves on Friday (9:00 p.m. E.T.), while the Bucks (16-13) will look to snap their losing run at home against the Oklahoma City Thunder on Friday.
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