After their six-game win streak was snapped on Monday, the Milwaukee Bucks look to get back on track on Wednesday night when they host the Toronto Raptors.
The Bucks are coming off a 115-106 loss to the Detroit Pistons, who earned back-to-back wins for the first time this season.
Giannis Antetokounmpo paced Milwaukee with 31 points, 10 rebounds and seven assists on 11-of-21 shooting. Jrue Holiday trailed close behind with 29 points, and Bobby Portis had 12 to go with 14 rebounds. Khris Middleton chipped in 10 points after missing Saturday’s game due to personal reasons.
“Overall, we have to get better. Keep building good habits. Today wasn’t one of those games that we built good habits,” Antetokounmpo said. “I don’t think we competed as hard as we can.”
Milwaukee struggled from beyond the arc, hitting just 11 of 46 shots. At 23.9 percent, it was the Bucks’ second-worst performance from 3-point range this season.
Coach Mike Budenholzer’s bench will not be as deep Wednesday, as Jordan Nwora, Semi Ojeleye and Thanasis Antetokounmpo are all in the league’s health and safety protocol. Donte DiVincenzo will also miss 2-3 weeks after rolling his ankle, according to Jim Owczarski of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
In games following a loss, the Bucks hold an 8-5 record this season. Holiday said the team is going to make the necessary adjustments ahead of its meeting with Toronto.
“I think that we went to the locker room, and we knew what we did wrong,” Holiday said. “We’ll … have practice, and then lock in for the next game.”
The Raptors defeated the Spurs 129-104 on Tuesday night to extend their win streak to three games. They have averaged 121.7 points in those games while holding opponents to an average of 105.7.
Fred VanVleet paced Toronto with 33 points and seven assists on 12-of-23 shooting. He also shot 7 of 14 from deep to eclipse the 30-point mark for the third straight game. Gary Trent Jr. added 21 points, and Pascal Siakam finished with 18 points and 12 rebounds.
“When you’re hot, I think you’ve just got to be aggressive and ride it out as long as you can,” VanVleet said. “I think just the position we’re in now with having everybody back, I think we can kind of find our own natural roles, which has been a little bit of an issue for us this year with having guys in and out.”
While the Raptors have their core back, they will still be without Yuta Watanabe and Svi Mykhailiuk, who are in the COVID-19 protocol. David Johnson is also out with a calf injury, and Goran Dragic remains without a timetable to return for personal reasons.
With multiple bench pieces sidelined, Justin Champagnie stepped up against the Spurs, posting a career-high 14 points in 13 minutes.
“I just try and go out there and do what the team needs me to do,” Champagnie said. “I’m always ready for an opportunity to go out there and prove what I’m about and help the team win.”
Wednesday’s meeting is the second game of the four-game season series between Toronto and the Bucks. The Raptors took the first game 97-93 on Dec. 2 behind 29 points from VanVleet.
–Field Level Media