Raptors rebound to beat Bucks for first time this season
LOS ANGELES, USA – Kawhi Leonard and Pascal Siakam scored 30 points each as the Toronto Raptors used a balanced attack to outduel the Milwaukee Bucks, 123-116, in a battle of the top two NBA Eastern Conference teams.
Leonard was back to his old self on Saturday night, January 5 (Sunday, January 6, Manila time) following an emotional return to San Antonio on Thursday to face his former team, who bottled him up and routed the Raptors, 125-107.
But he got plenty of help from a strong supporting cast as Toronto seized command in the 2nd and 3rd quarters and then survived a Milwaukee rally in the 4th.
"We thought we didn't play great defense last game so we wanted to come out aggressive and pass the ball and get some more open shots and it fell in for us tonight," Leonard said.
Siakam finished with a career-high 30, Serge Ibaka added 25 points and 9 rebounds, Fred VanVleet had 21 points, and Danny Green 12 points and 9 rebounds as the Raptors beat the Bucks for the first time this season.
The Raptors reclaimed first place overall with a 29-12 record as the Bucks slipped to 27-11.
Giannis Antetokounmpo had 43 points and 18 rebounds for Milwaukee, which came into the contest on a five-game winning streak. Malcolm Brogdon added 15 points, and Khris Middleton and Eric Bledsoe each had 14.
While the Raptors were trying to forget about being trounced in the Alamo City, the Bucks were coming off a 144-112 victory over Atlanta on Friday.
The Raptors salted the game away with a 15-2 fourth-quarter surge which was highlighted by a three-pointer from Siakam that gave them a 110-98 lead with just over 5 minutes to play.
"We came out tonight with a pass-first mindset and to take open shots. It worked out, all of us had 20 plus," Leonard said.
Trailing by as much as 13, the Bucks opened the 4th quarter with a 14-4 run, capped by Antetokounmpo's layup and three-pointer, and led 96-95 with 8:12 left. – Rappler.com