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Raptors Final Score: Raptors Blow Early Lead, Lose to Bucks 107 - 96

The Toronto Raptors got off to a hot start against the Milwaukee Bucks, but couldn't hang on for the win.

John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports

What a game.

It looks like the Falcons had it in the bag, the Seahawks mount one of the greatest comebacks I've ever seen, take the lead with seconds left, only for the Falcons to come back and...


Wrong game.

Much like the Atlanta Falcons, the Toronto Raptors as well blew a big early lead, but unlike the ATLiens, never got it back. The Raps, up 34 to 16 after the first quarter, and by as many as 20 points, gave it all back, losing 107 to 96 in the end to the Milwaukee Bucks this afternoon.

The loss means the Raps fall a bit further behind Milwaukee in the race for the Eastern Conference's final playoff spot, and now must atone for today's loss by beating solid teams in Brooklyn and Chicago, their next two opponents.

So what went wrong?

Well, everything after that first quarter.

The Raptors bench came in flat, were outscored badly, and had a tough time keeping hold of the ball. Nine of the Raptors 15 turnovers came in the second quarter, and slowly the Bucks chipped away at things until Toronto's lead at the half was only two.

It was a back-and-forth affair through most of the second-half of the game, but Milwaukee simply got more timely plays when needed, from a Larry Sanders block on DeMar DeRozan with about three minutes left, to a Mike Dunleavy three-pointer on the ensuing possession that gave the Bucks the cushion they needed to continue on to the win.

The Bucks' bench outscored that of the Raptors, 43 to 7 as Kyle Lowry and Alan Anderson struggled to score, (combined 2 for 14) and players like Landry Fields and Terrence Ross were essentially invisible as well.

Not to say the Raptors' defence was invisible, but they had major problems from the second quarter on, especially staying in front of Brandon Jennings and Monta Ellis. The duo combined for 36 points but were instrumental in creating open opportunities for teammates by breaching Toronto's perimeter D.

As a result, the Bucks shot 52 per cent from the field, and combined with Toronto's offensive woes (shot only 42 per cent from the field) the porous D did them in.

Of greater concern, the health of Jose Calderon and Amir Johnson, both of whom were injured in the first half of this match and while both returned to play the second, it's hard to imagine Toronto coming away with a win in Brooklyn if both of these players have to sit.