Bucks 122 – Raptors 119 [OT]: refs go to sleep

Toronto Raptors - Serge Ibaka and Milwaukee Bucks - Giannis Antetokounmpo (Photo by Claus Andersen/Getty Images)
Toronto Raptors - Serge Ibaka and Milwaukee Bucks - Giannis Antetokounmpo (Photo by Claus Andersen/Getty Images) /

The Raptors had chances to nail down an OT win against the Bucks, but it wasn’t to be. Dubious non-calls at the worst times, plus great shooting by the visitors, proved too much.

The Toronto Raptors had their 7-game winning streak broken on Friday night by the resurgent Milwaukee Bucks. The game was a humbling reminder that the Raptors are now a high-profile opponent, everyone is going to take their best shot at them, and sometimes you’re going to get beat.

The Raptors started well enough, and took a 6-point lead in Q1. Our guys made 3 of 7 from deep, while the Bucks missed all 4 of their attempts. That worm turned with amazing speed in Q2. Milwaukee piled up 42 points, which include 6 long balls without a miss. The tight game as the half ended slipped away badly; the Raptors were outscored 11-1 with fewer than 3 minutes to play. Some of the damage was a 4-point play, plus a technical foul on DeMar DeRozan who was furious that he was hammered into the shooter, Kris Middleton, but got called anyway.


Toronto couldn’t close any ground in Q3, and needed to find their game in the final 12 minutes. Their defense finally tightened up, but shooters we had been counting all prior to the All-Star break were firing blanks. C.J. Miles had a disappointing night, missing a number of open looks from beyond the arc. The Raptors went donut for six, and needed a brilliant slam dunk from Jonas Valanciunas at the buzzer to tie the game. JV was hammered by John Henson, but the referees must have been blocked out, or sneaking a brewski. Instead of a foul shot to win, we were off to overtime.

Overtime – early success, late disappointment

The Raps jumped out to a 5-point lead, but then fell asleep. Milwaukee had shown all night they weren’t going away. The Bucks scored the next 8 points, then JV crammed home another bucket, and was hammered even more egregiously than in Q4, but no foul. So much for a chance to tie. The Greek Freak drained a mid-range jumper (talk about unstoppable – how do you even bother a 7-footer who can hit fadeaways?) DeRozan missed a potential tying 3-ball and we were done, despite him getting his own rebound and slamming it home. We needed 3, not 2.

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Jason Terry, who’s been playing since forever, hit 4 of 5 from deep. He led the Bucks’ 13 of 26 in that department, while the Raptors suffered through a 9 for 34 effort. Kyle Lowry needed 10 tries to hit 3. Miles’ 2 for 7 isn’t good enough.

Toronto also got hammered on the boards. They lost badly on both the offensive and defensive glass, which helped the Bucks cash in second-chance points to the tune of 19, compared to the Raptors’ 8.

Let’s hope this disappointing result serves as a bucket of cold water over any complacency and self-satisfaction Toronto’s players may have been feeling. Wake up, Raps – there’s a target on your back.

The Pistons are in town on Monday.