NBA regular season

Raptors stop Bucks’ winning streak as Antetokounmpo sits

Raptors stop Bucks’ winning streak as Antetokounmpo sits

STEPPING UP. Raptors guard Fred VanVleet passes the ball as Bucks center Bobby Portis defends.

John E. Sokolowski/USA TODAY Sports/Reuters

Milwaukee star Giannis Antetokounmpo gets scratched from the Bucks lineup due to injury as the Raptors arrest a five-game home losing streak

Fred VanVleet scored 26 of his 29 points in the second half and the Toronto Raptors ended the visiting Milwaukee Bucks’ eight-game winning streak with a 97-93 victory on Thursday night, December 2 (Friday, December 3, Manila time).

Milwaukee was without Giannis Antetokounmpo (sore calf). DeMarcus Cousins (rest) also did not play after making his Bucks debut on Wednesday.

Antetokounmpo, the former MVP who is averaging 27.6 points, 11.8 rebounds, and 6 assists this season, had 40 points, 12 rebounds, and 9 assists in the Bucks’ 127-125 win over the Charlotte Hornets just a day earlier. He sank a game-winning reverse layup in the final seconds.

Pascal Siakam added 20 points before fouling out in the fourth quarter for the Raptors, who ended a five-game home losing streak. Scottie Barnes added 13 points for Toronto.

Toronto was also without OG Anunoby (hip pointer) and Khem Birch (knee).

Jrue Holiday scored 26 points for the Bucks. Khris Middleton added 22, Bobby Portis 15, and Grayson Allen 10.

Toronto led by 11 in the third quarter and took a five-point lead into the fourth.

Milwaukee pulled within two points with 9:28 left, but Toronto scored the next seven points. Allen’s three-pointer cut the deficit to three with 6:16 remaining. After Milwaukee moved to within two, Toronto went on a 6-0 surge, completed by a jumper by Barnes.

Portis hit a three-pointer to trim the deficit to three with 33.1 seconds to go. VanVleet made two free throws to bump it to 95-90 with 19.5 seconds left. Middleton then made two foul shots, and Portis made one of two to cut the margin to two.

Pat Connaughton missed a three-point attempt that would have given the Bucks the lead.

Toronto led 26-23 after one quarter.

The Raptors used a 9-0 run capped by Yuta Watanabe’s three-pointer with 5:58 to play in the second quarter to lead by seven. Toronto led 48-40 at halftime.

Milwaukee scored the first four points of the third quarter. The Raptors opened an 11-point lead with 6:50 remaining on Precious Achiuwa’s 10-footer.

Holiday made two consecutive triples to cut the deficit to four with 4:09 left. The lead returned to 11 after Chris Boucher’s dunk with 1:05 remaining. Middleton scored the final five points of the third, cutting the deficit to 73-68. –