The Milwaukee Bucks and Toronto Raptors meet Tuesday in NBA action at the Scotiabank Arena.
The Raptors ousted the Bucks in six games in the Eastern Conference finals last season en route to winning the NBA title when the since-departed Kawhi Leonard was the team’s star. Regardless, Toronto is playing like a team intent on defending its crown as it has won 17 of its last 18 games, including a 127-81 home triumph over the Indiana Pacers on Sunday that ranks as the largest winning margin (46 points) in franchise history. The NBA-best Bucks have won 17 of their past 19 games but went to overtime against the host Washington Wizards before prevailing 137-134 on Monday. “We found a way to win on the road,” relieved Milwaukee coach Mike Budenholzer told reporters after the win over Washington. “It’s tough. Crowd gets into it and things kind of went against us for a while but to find a way to get a win was great.”
ABOUT THE BUCKS (49-8): All-Star forward Khris Middleton scored nine of his 40 points in overtime – including a tiebreaking 3-pointer with 30.2 seconds left – on Monday to finish off his second-highest output of the season. “Khris was obviously fabulous,” Budenholzer told reporters. “He’s always going to shoot. He’s a winner, he hits big shots. He delivered.” Point guard Eric Bledsoe knocked down four 3-pointers and registered 23 points, 10 assists and seven rebounds against Washington for his first double-double since Jan. 28, also against the Wizards.
ABOUT THE RAPTORS (42-15): Point guard Kyle Lowry had 16 points and 11 assists in the steamrolling of Indiana for his sixth straight double-double and he said his squad is ready for the challenge of facing the Bucks. “They’re a well-coached team, they’re a well-oiled machine,” Lowry told reporters. “All we can do is worry about ourselves.” All-Star power forward Pascal Siakam is thriving as the go-to man, tallying 21 points against the Pacers, and has made 20-of-31 field-goal attempts while averaging 29 points in the first two games since play resumed after the All-Star break.
The Milwaukee Bucks look to stay hot after winning 17 of their last 19 games. The Milwaukee Bucks are averaging 119.7 points on 48.2 percent shooting and allowing 107.3 points on 41.1 percent shooting. Giannis Antetokounmpo is averaging 30 points and 13.5 rebounds while Khris Middleton is averaging 20.6 points and 6.2 rebounds. Eric Bledsoe is the third double-digit scorer and Brook Lopez is grabbing 4.4 rebounds. The Milwaukee Bucks are shooting 36 percent from beyond the arc and 73.6 percent from the free throw line. The Milwaukee Bucks are allowing 35.9 percent shooting from deep and are grabbing 51.9 rebounds per game. The Milwaukee Bucks have won eight of their last nine road games.
The Toronto Raptors look for a statement win after winning 10 of their last 11 games. The Toronto Raptors are averaging 113.3 points on 46.2 percent shooting and allowing 106.1 points on 42.7 percent shooting. Pascal Siakam is averaging 23.7 points and 7.5 rebounds while Kyle Lowry is averaging 19.4 points and 7.7 assists. Fred VanVleet is the third double-digit scorer and Serge Ibaka is grabbing 8.1 rebounds. The Toronto Raptors are shooting 37.7 percent from beyond the arc and 79.8 percent from the free throw line. The Toronto Raptors are allowing 33.5 percent shooting from deep and are grabbing 45.5 rebounds per game. The Toronto Raptors haven’t lost a home game since January 12.
Milwaukee Bucks at Toronto Raptors Head to Head
The Bucks lead the all-time regular season series between the teams 52-38 and have taken the last two meetings, including a 115-105 home win in the lone match-up so far this season back on November 2, 2019.
Milwaukee Bucks at Toronto Raptors Stats
The Bucks are 1st in the league in scoring offense with 119.7 points per game on the season. Milwaukee is first in rebounding by pulling down 51.9 boards per contest while the team is 5th by dishing out 26.2 assists per game. The Bucks are 6th in the league in scoring defense as they allow 107.3 points per contest this season. Giannis Antetokounmpo leads Milwaukee with 30 points, 13.6 rebounds and 5.8 assists per contest this season. Khris Middleton chips in 20.7 points plus 6.2 rebounds a night while Brook Lopez contributes 10.7 points a contest. George Hill (9.5 points) and Eric Bledsoe (15.7 points, 5.4 assists) are solid secondary options. Kyle Korver, Robin Lopez, Wesley Matthews, Ersan Ilyasova and Pat Connaughton are solid pieces in the mix as well. Milwaukee is second in the league in field goal percentage by shooting 48.2 percent as a team this season. The Bucks are fourth in threes per game by draining 13.8 triples per contest and stand 15th in three-point shooting by hitting 36 percent of their attempts from beyond the arc.
The Raptors are 10th in the league in scoring offense with 113.3 points per game this season. Toronto is 13th in the league with 45.5 rebounds per contest and stands 9th in assists with 25.7 per game. The Raptors are 2nd in the league in scoring defense by allowing 106.1 points per game. Pascal Siakam leads the team with 23.7 points plus 7.5 rebounds per contest. Kyle Lowry contributes 19.4 points plus 7.7 assists a game while Fred VanVleet puts up 17.7 points and 6.7 assists per contest. Serge Ibaka (16.1 points, 8.1 rebounds), Norman Powell (15.3 points, 3.9 rebounds) and OG Anunoby (10.2 points, 5.4 rebounds) are guys that Nick Nurse is relying on in the Raptors’ rotation. Toronto is tied for 12th in the league in field goal percentage as they shoot 46.2 percent from the floor as a team. The Raptors are fifth in threes per game this season as they have knocked down 13.7 triples per contest while the team is second in the league in three-point shooting by hitting 37.7 percent of their chances from long range. Powell is out with a broken finger on his hand and is expected to be re-evaluated next week. Gasol is dealing with a hamstring injury and is out again here.
Milwaukee Bucks at Toronto Raptors News
Missing players Bucks: Brook Lopez (Back) is questionable.
Missing players Raptors: Marc Gasol (Hamstring) and Norman Powell (Finger) are out. Patrick McCaw (Illness) is questionable.
Milwaukee Bucks at Toronto Raptors Odds
Spread: -1.5 Bucks
Milwaukee Bucks at Toronto Raptors Predictions
This one is well worth the price of admission as the top two teams in the Eastern Conference slug it out here. Milwaukee has already clinched a playoff spot with their 48-8 mark on the year while Toronto has won 17 of their last 18 games. The home team has won six of the last seven meetings between the Raptors and Bucks. The Milwaukee Bucks have been the most consistent team in the league, but Toronto is a tough spot to play on the end of a back to back, and they’re coming off an overtime game. The Toronto Raptors haven’t lost a home game in over a month where they win by an average of 9.7 points and allow 42.7 percent shooting from the field. The Toronto Raptors are 19-11 against the spread at home. I’ll take the rested Raptors at home in the intriguing match-up.