NBA: Perfect Bucks use balance to hand Raptors first loss

Reuters

Posted at Oct 30 2018 11:35 AM

Milwaukee Bucks guard Eric Bledsoe (6), forward Thon Maker (7) and guard Donte DiVincenzo (9) put pressure on Toronto Raptors guard Kyle Lowry (7) in the fourth quarter at the Fiserv Forum. Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports/REUTERS

The host Milwaukee Bucks held the Toronto Raptors without a field goal for the first 4:11 of the second quarter Monday night, establishing an early lead before pulling away for a 124-109 victory in a battle of unbeaten teams missing their Most Valuable Player candidates.

The Bucks improved to 7-0 despite the absence of Giannis Antetokounmpo, who was recovering from a concussion, and took advantage of the Raptors' decision to rest their star, Kawhi Leonard.

Milwaukee filled Antetokounmpo's void with balanced scoring, placing seven players in double figures, led by Ersan Ilyasova's 19.

Serge Ibaka had a season-high 30 for the Raptors, who fell to 6-1.

After a tight first quarter, the Bucks ran off to a 10-point lead with a 9-1 run to open the second period. Ilyasova and John Henson had dunks in the burst.

The Raptors didn't have a field goal in the second period until Danny Green buried a 3-pointer with 7:49 left in the half, as Toronto closed the double-digit lead to 42-35. But the Raptors never caught up.

Milwaukee went on to lead by nine at halftime and 15 at the end of three quarters before coasting home, topping 100 points for the seventh consecutive game.

Ilyasova finished with his first double-double of the season, complementing his season-best point total with 10 rebounds.

He got plenty of support from double-figure scorers Malcolm Brogdon (17), Eric Bledsoe (17), Khris Middleton (14), Donte DiVincenzo (12), Thon Maker (11) and Tony Snell (11).

Ibaka's 30-point game was the second of his career. His first came as a member of the Orlando Magic in a 2016 game at Oklahoma City.

Pascal Siakam had 22 points and Jonas Valanciunas 10 for the Raptors, while Kyle Lowry totaled a season-best 15 assists to go with nine points.

Lowry's assist total was the fourth of his career with 15 or more, and three shy of his career best of 18, set twice.

The Bucks improved to 5-0 at home, while the Raptors fell to 1-1 in just their second road game of the season.

Milwaukee outshot Toronto 48.9 percent to 39.4, and outscored the visitors 57-27 on 3-pointers.

Middleton had four of the Bucks' 19 3-pointers.

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