Lowry reaches 10,000-point plateau as a Raptor in 1115-108 loss to Milwaukee

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TAMPA, Fla. — Giannis Antetokounmpo had 24 points, 18 rebounds and nine assists as the Milwaukee Bucks hung on to defeat the Toronto Raptors 115-108 Wednesday.

TAMPA, Fla. — Giannis Antetokounmpo had 24 points, 18 rebounds and nine assists as the Milwaukee Bucks hung on to defeat the Toronto Raptors 115-108 Wednesday.

Kyle Lowry scored 11 straight points for Toronto (7-11) to cut the lead to 106-102 with under two minutes remaining. But the Bucks (11-6) held firm. Toronto worked hard to reel in the high-flying Bucks only to see each Raptors run answered by Milwaukee.

Earlier Lowry became the third player to reach the 10,000-point milestone as a Raptor, scoring on Toronto’s second shot attempt at Amalie Arena.

The 34-year-old guard sank a three-pointer from 24 feet just 51 seconds into the game after a steal by Fred VanVleet. DeMar DeRozan (13,296) and Chris Bosh (10,275) are the only others to score 10,000 in Raptors colours.

Khris Middleton had 24 points, 10 rebounds and seven assists for Milwaukee while Brook Lopez added 20 point and sevens rebounds.

Norm Powell had a season-high 26 points for Toronto, his fourth consecutive 20-plus outing. Six Raptors finished in double figures with Lowry finishing at 21 after a 14-point fourth quarter. VanVleet had 10 points and 10 assists.

Pascal Siakam (11 points) returned to the Raptors lineup after a two-game absence due to left knee swelling. But OG Anunoby (calf) was unable to go due to a calf issue.

The game marked the one-quarter mark of the 72-game season for Toronto. The Raptors were 14-4 and riding a six-game win streak at the same stage last season.

Lowry actually came into the game with 13,730 points, having scored 1,217 in two-plus seasons with Memphis and 2,515 in three-plus campaigns with Houston.

Golden State’s Steph Curry and Klay Thompson, Portland’s Damian Lillard, Washington’s Bradley Beal and Milwaukee’s Antetokounmpo are the only active players with 10,000 points with their current team.

VanVleet played provider in the first quarter with seven assists, helping centre Aron Baynes — who came into the game averaging 4.7 points this season — collect seven points early. Powell led all scorers with 10 points in the quarter.

A 10-3 Toronto run at the end of the first quarter tied the score at 33-33.

The Raptors led by five in the second quarter before they went cold and the Bucks reeled off a 21-7 run to lead 63-54 at the half.

Antetokounmpo had 14 points, nine rebounds and five assists in the half.

Toronto opened the third quarter with an 8-1 run to cut the lead to two. But Milwaukee answered with an 10-2 run of its own to make it a double-digit lead. The Raptors kept chipping away and only trailed 83-82 going into the fourth on the back of a 9-0 run.

The Raptors pulled ahead 84-83 on a Yuta Watanabe two-pointer but Milwaukee scored the next nine points.

After Toronto cut the lead to 100-94, Milwaukee challenged an offensive foul call against Antetokounmpo with 4:48 remaining. The Bucks won the challenge and the Bucks star buried two free throws to make it an eight-point game.

Toronto, while coming off a 129-114 loss in Indiana on Monday, had won five of its last seven following a 2-8 start to the season.

The Bucks, who downed visiting Atlanta 129-115 on Sunday, were well-rested. The Hawks game was their first since a loss to the Lakers last Thursday, given Friday’s contest against Washington was postponed due to a COVID-19 outbreak among the Wizards.

Toronto hosts the Sacramento Kings on Friday in Tampa. Milwaukee continues its road trip with games in New Orleans on Friday and Charlotte on Saturday.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 27, 2021

The Canadian Press