Bucks 105 Raptors 92
TORONTO — Giannis Antetokounmpo scored 19 points to lift the Milwaukee Bucks 105-92 over the Toronto Raptors in a battle for first place in the Eastern Conference on Thursday.
Pascal Siakam scored 28 points to lead the Raptors (37-16), who saw their 10-game home winning streak come to an end. Kawhi Leonard scored less than 20 points for the first time in 23 games, finishing with 16.
Serge Ibaka had 12 points on a horrible 4-for-15 shooting. Kyle Lowry, who hours earlier had been named to his fifth consecutive NBA all-star team, Fred VanVleet and Norman Powell chipped in with 10 apiece.
The Bucks victory guaranteed Milwaukee coach Mike Budenholzer, and not Toronto’s Nick Nurse will coach in the all-star game Feb. 17 in Charlotte.
The game was a battle for first in the East, and the final regular-season meeting between the conference rivals. Milwaukee arrived in Toronto a half game ahead of the Raptors for first in the Eastern Conference, and with a 2-1 record in their previous three meetings.
The Bucks (37-13) were the better team on the night.
Trailing by nine at halftime, the Raptors came out of the break a step behind, allowing Khris Middleton to score seven straight points and put the Bucks up by 16. Milwaukee didn’t let up, and when D.J. Wilson threw down a dunk midway through the third quarter it gave the visitors a 24-point lead. The Raptors showed some life with a 7-0 run to end the third, pulling to within 87-76 to start the fourth.
An energetic Siakam scored seven points to start the third, pulling Toronto within six, and infusing some hope in the Scotiabank Arena crowd of 19,800. A basket by Leonard put the Raptors to within six again with just under two minutes to play, but a three by Malcolm Brogdon with 1:03 to play ended Toronto’s hopes for a win and sent the crowd pouring toward the exits.
Neither team led by more than four points through the first quarter until Siakam drilled a three-pointer with 1:15 left that put Toronto up by five. The Raptors took a 25-22 advantage into the second.
The Bucks opened the second with a 12-2 run capped by a Brogdon three that put the Bucks up by seven. They would stretch it to 11 midway through the frame, before taking a 56-47 lead into the halftime break.
The Raptors were without Danny Green for much of the game. He was battling a stomach virus.
The Raptors’ last loss at home was to Milwaukee on Dec. 9.
The Raptors host the Los Angeles Clippers on Sunday.