Raptors Unravel Down the Stretch, Lose to Bucks 92 to 86 (Rapid Recap)


-The Raptors needed a loss and the Bucks needed a win and both teams got what they wanted. The Milwaukee Bucks took down the Toronto Raptors 92 to 86 this evening in a game that was...well...sort of a display of NBA basketball.Neither team played their best ball and unfortunately while Milwaukee did do enough to win, it was all for naught as the Philadelphia 76ers, the team the Bucks were chasing for a final playoff spot, won tonight as well, eliminating Milwaukee from post-season contention.

-It didn't look promising for Milwaukee though even before the game as the Bucks had to win their final three and the 76ers, lose their last trio. My fear therefore was that some scoreboard watching would occur, and once eliminated, the Bucks would let this game go, giving the W to Toronto. Luckily the inverse occurred as it was in the game's final minutes, after the 76ers had clinched their playoff spot, that the Bucks turned up the heat and the Raps unraveled.

-Toronto did get off to a hot start, leading at the half and shooting over 50 per cent until the fourth quarter. But as the turnovers continued to pile up (the Dinos had 21 in total) and the Raps continued to live and die by the jump shot (they had 18 free throws to Milwaukee's 36), you could see another L looming.

-James Johnson led the way for TO, posting his best game in ages, responding to a rare start. He had 22 points, 13 rebounds, 4 assists and 2 blocks, and he got some nice help from others like Gary Forbes (15 points on 6 of 9 shooting) and Linas Kleiza (15 and 9.)

-But that was about it in terms of highlights for TO. Ed Davis did haul in 11 rebounds but the rest of the team couldn't mount much resistance as the Bucks kept pressing into the game's final moments. Ersan Ilyasova was the real difference maker, putting up only 15 points but hauling in 19 rebounds, many of these key boards down the stretch. Brandon Jennings and Monta Ellis were hardly efficient, but combined for 42 points, and again, the Raps just didn't have much of an answer down the stretch.

-And now, we come to the season's final game. The Raps head home to face the New Jersey Nets on Thursday night, in a game that well...will be interesting only in terms of its lottery implications.

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