On paper it looked like huge advantage for the Raptors when Giannis Antetokounmpo and his 29.5 point nightly average was ruled out for Wednesday’s game.
But when the visiting Milwaukee Bucks put up a 70-spot in the first half, led by 24 from Damian Lillard, no one was thinking advantage Raptors anymore.
Lillard was basically unstoppable. The Raptors had no answer for him. When they tried to get physical with him, he went to the line converting 12 of 13 in the first half alone on his way to an 37-point night and a Milwaukee 128-112 win.
He finished the night making 15 of 16 free throw attempts and had 13 assists to further establish his dominance.
The Raptors began the night trying to deny him the ball but that just seemed to get the former Portland standout even more energized.
Lillard ran around screens until he got open and then punished the Raptors either with his speed inside or his shot from deep.
And if Lillard wasn’t enough of a problem there was the red-hot shooting from Michael Beasley. All Beasley did was hit on 11 of 14 attempts and eight of his 11 from behind the arc for a 30-point night to go along with that 37 from Lillard.
Down by 33 at one point, the Raptors did get that deficit all the way down to 14 and with Monday’s comeback from 23 down still fresh in the minds of many, there was an inkling that maybe, just maybe this one wasn’t over.
Of course, the problem with that thinking is the Milwaukee Bucks are not the Washington Wizards and the Bucks weren’t about to let their early work go all to waste.
Toronto was led by 29 points from Scottie Barnes who also had nine rebounds and seven assists.
Things don’t get any easier for the Raptors who host the Eastern Conference-leading Boston Celtics on Friday night.
Recommended from Editorial
Raptors’ Malachi Flynn pushing for Jamal Crawford’s NBA Hall of Fame inclusion
INSIDE THE RAPTORS: Has Siakam got his groove back
Share this article in your social network