MILWAUKEE, Nov 3 — Giannis Antetokounmpo scored 36 points, grabbed 15 rebounds and added eight assists as the Milwaukee Bucks held on to defeat the visiting Toronto Raptors 115-105 last night.
The Raptors tried to come back from a 26-point deficit but could get no closer than four points in the fourth quarter.
It was the first meeting between the teams since the Raptors eliminated the Bucks in the Eastern Conference finals last season.
Eric Bledsoe added 14 points and nine rebounds for the Bucks, while Khris Middleton and Brook Lopez each had 11 points.
Kyle Lowry led Toronto with a season-best 36 points and Pascal Siakam had 16 points before fouling out with 1:41 to play in the fourth quarter. Fred VanVleet added 12 points, Serge Ibaka scored 11 and Marc Gasol contributed 10 points and 12 rebounds.
The Bucks scored the first five points in the fourth, but Ibaka’s dunk cut the lead to four with 7:03 remaining.
The Bucks bumped the lead to seven points on Middleton’s two free thows with 3:27 remaining. VanVleet’s 3-pointer trimmed the lead to four with 2:24 remaining. But the Bucks went ahead by eight on a dunk by Antetokounmpo with 1:22 to go.
The Bucks opened a 12-1 lead with Antetokounmpo scoring seven and finished the first quarter with a 36-17 lead.
The lead reached 22 points early in the second quarter when Lopez made a 3-pointer. Middleton’s reverse layup with 4:59 remaining in the first half gave the Bucks a 55-30 lead.
The Raptors outscored the Bucks 25-15 in the final 6:45 of the first half that ended with the Bucks leading 66-50.
Antetokounmpo scored 17 first-half points and Lowry also led Toronto with 17. The Bucks shot 53.2 percent from the field and the Raptors shot 31.7 percent before the break.
The Bucks opened a 20-point margin on a layup by Donte DiVincenzo two minutes into the third quarter.
Lowry had 17 points in the third quarter as the Raptors trimmed the lead to 95-90 entering the fourth quarter. — Reuters