(Toronto, On) The Toronto Raptors finish game number 82 with a win, as they beat the Milwaukee Bucks 121-105 at Scotiabank Arena.
The Raptors break-even, and finish 41-41 on the season, and 27-14 at home. Toronto is officially ninth in the Eastern Conference as they get ready for next week’s play-in tournament.
Fred VanVleet, OG Anunoby, and Pascal Siakam were a scratch in this contest.
Pat Connaughton, Brook Lopez, Khris Middleton, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Jrue Holiday, and Grayson Allen were all ruled out for the Bucks this afternoon.
Both teams maintained a comfortable pace as they traded buckets for most of the first quarter. Bobby Portis scored the first eight-of-ten points for the Bucks as he punished the Raptors with his corner shot and fadeaway. This was an opportunity for Gary Trent Jr. to find his rhythm and he dominated and scored 14 points for the Raptors in the first frame. Both teams looked deeper into their bench as coaches assessed who could fit into their rotations come playoff time.
Toronto shot 4/6 from three-point range in the first quarter as Toronto led 35-26.
In the second quarter, the Bucks went on a mini run as Thanasis Antetokounmpo hustled for second chance points and challenged Chris Boucher in the paint. Dalano Banton was effective, scoring nine points while dropping three dimes. The Raptors increased their lead to 12 after heading into the break.
The third quarter turned into a dunk fest for the Raptors as they punched in five slams in the frame. Precious Achiuwa was feeling it in the third, scoring almost half the Raptors points, and energizing the crowd. The fourth quarter was seamless as the Raptors extended the lead as they went onto win their 41st game of the season. Toronto also set a new single-season franchise record with 772 steals.
The Raptors collectively shot 51% from the field against the Bucks. Trent Jr. led the game with 23 points, three assists, and four threes. Flynn had his best game of the season as he finished with 20 points, four rebounds, and four assists. Achiuwa finished with a double-double, scoring 14 points, and 13 rebounds. Banton, Boucher, and Ron Harper Jr. each finished in double figures as well.
The Bucks were led by Dartmouth, Nova Scotian native Lindell Wigginton who scored 17 points, and two triples. Portis was efficient, dropping 16 points, and four rebounds in 18 minutes. Antetokounmpo, and veteran Goran Dragic each scored 14 points, and played well off the bench. Jae Crowder found his stroke in the second half on his way to 13 points, four rebounds, and six assists.
The Bucks’ depth remains one of the best in the league as three players on the bench scored in double figures today. Canadian Wigginton was productive in 27 minutes as he can be a key rotational piece off the bench during the playoffs alongside Jevon Carter. Crowder brings veteran presence and experience to the squad. If any injuries occur, it is always the next man up mentality for the Bucks.
The Raptors are not in the best position to reach the postseason, but there’s a chance. Since Toronto is the ninth seed, they must win two games in the play-in to secure a playoff spot. They have pulled through adversity; however, this is the biggest test of the year. After a disappointing season, this is a chance for revival.
Play-in season is officially upon us as the Raptors get ready for a battle against the Chicago Bulls on Wednesday night at Scotiabank Arena. Game time 7pm est.
Toronto Raptors vs. Milwaukee Bucks box score click HERE.
Gary Trent Jr. – 23 PTS 3 AST 4 3PT
Malachi Flynn – 20 PTS 4 REB 4 AST
Precious Achiuwa – 14 PTS 13 REB 2 STL
Lindell Wigginton – 17 PTS 1 REB ⅝ FG%
Bobby Portis – 16 PTS 4 REB 1 STL
Thanasis Antetokounmpo – 14 PTS 5 REB 3 AST