Bucks, Giannis outlast Raptors
TORONTO (AP) — Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Milwaukee Bucks felt extra good about getting a rare win against the Toronto Raptors.
Antetokounmpo had 26 points and 12 rebounds, and Milwaukee snapped Toronto’s seven-game win streak with a 122-119 overtime victory Friday night.
“We haven’t beaten them in a while so the win feels a lot better, to be honest with you,” Antetokounmpo said. “They’re a great team, too.”
Eric Bledsoe and Khris Middleton each scored 21 points as the Bucks won the opener of an eight-game stretch against teams in playoff contention. Jason Terry scored 14 points, and John Henson and Thon Maker each had 12.
“It’s a big gut-check and a big win for us,” Middleton said. “This is the best team in the East and we proved that we could beat them on the road.”
DeMar DeRozan scored 33 points for the Raptors, who had won five straight home games against the Bucks, and 15 of the past 17 meetings.
Toronto also eliminated Milwaukee in the opening round of last year’s playoffs. The teams will not meet again in the regular season.
Serge Ibaka had 18 points, and Kyle Lowry and Pascal Siakam each scored 17 for Toronto.
“We didn’t deserve to win,” Raptors coach Dwane Casey said. “They outworked us, the outplayed us, they outthought us. Whatever adjective you want to use, they did it to us tonight.”
Jonas Valanciunas’ buzzer-beating dunk for Toronto sent the game to overtime. He finished with 10 points.
Toronto suffered its first home loss since Jan. 26 against Utah. The Raptors are an NBA-best 24-5 at home.
“It’s good to have a tough loss like this,” Lowry said. “It kind of re-focuses us. We can get beat on any given night and we’ve got to come out there and play hard every night.”
The Raptors trailed 110-108 with 3.3 seconds left in the fourth quarter after Middleton split a pair of free throws. Following a timeout, Toronto inbounded the ball to Valanciunas, who paused before driving for the tying dunk.
Toronto scored the first five points of the extra session, but back-to-back 3-pointers by Terry and Middleton capped an 8-0 Bucks run, giving Milwaukee a 118-115 lead with 1:58 left.
Valanciunas stopped the run with a dunk, but Antetokounmpo’s jumper with 13 seconds left put the Bucks up 120-117.
DeRozan cut it to one with a dunk but Terry answered with a pair of free throws in the final second. DeRozan’s long inbounds pass to C.J. Miles was knocked away at the buzzer to give the Bucks the win.
Bucks: Milwaukee scored 42 points in the second for its highest-scoring quarter of the season. The previous high was 39. … The Bucks had a season-high 21 turnovers. … Milwaukee outrebounded Toronto 51-37.
Raptors: Fred VanVleet scored six points, ending a nine-game streak with at least 10. … Toronto shot 1 for 12 from 3-point range in the fourth quarter and overtime.
In overtime, Antetokounmpo dove out of bounds after a loose ball and managed to tip it to Terry, who made a pivotal 3. “That was all Jet,” Antetokounmpo said, referring to Terry by his nickname. “That was a real tough shot.”
Toronto and Milwaukee also played an overtime game on Jan. 1, with DeRozan setting a team record with 52 points in the Raptors’ 131-127 win.
The Bucks matched a season high with 13 3-pointers. Milwaukee started 0 for 4 from long range but finished 13 for 26, making seven straight during the second and third quarters.
Milwaukee is 5-0 in games decided by three or fewer points.
Bucks: Visit New Orleans on Sunday afternoon. The Bucks have lost their past two meetings with the Pelicans.
Raptors: Host Detroit on Monday night. Toronto has won three straight against the Pistons.
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Copyright 2018 The Associated Press.