Too Much for Toronto

Luc Richard Mbah a Moute dropped eight crucial points and the Milwaukee Bucks took down the Raptors at home Wednesday night, 113-107.

No. 12 played 31 minutes in the first of two consecutive games against Toronto, contributing five rebounds and four assists while committing just one turnover.

It was a close game from start to finish in Milwaukee, the largest lead by either team just 11, by Toronto. The Raptors went up 52-41 with 3:13 left in the first half but a pair of three-pointers by Charlie Bell and Carlos Delfino cut Toronto’s half-time lead to seven.

The Bucks enjoyed being down at halftime and you would know it judging from their impressive second half shooting. Milwaukee shot 14-25 from the field, including 3-of-4 from distance, outscoring the Raptors 32-22.

After Andrew Bogut fouled out with 4:11 left in the game, it was time to step up. With Chris Bosh on fire all night (finishing with 44), immediate action was necessary. The Bucks proceeded to go on a 7-0 run that led them to victory. Said Bell:

“It was gut check time. When [Bogut] went out of the game, it was time for other guys to step up. We could’ve easily laid down and said, ‘Oh man, we lost because Andrew fouled out.”

Luc Richard and Ersan Ilyasova provided the late game heroics for the Bucks. Up one with 2:13 left in the game, No. 12 tipped in a missed Ilyasova lay-up to put the Bucks up three. Less than a minute later it was Ilyasova’s turn. Ersan dropped in a tip off of a Brandon Jennings miss and converted the three-point play when he was fouled.

Scott Skiles described Ersan’s tip in as one of the game’s best plays. As he told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel:

“We wanted (Andrea) Bargnani up defending the pick-and-roll. Brandon was breaking them down and getting into the paint a little bit. And we were able to at least get inside, and Ersan was left on the glass and put it in.”

The Bucks get another look at the Raptors Friday night, this time in Toronto. The game won’t be aired on TV but can be heard on AM 620 for a 6:00 CST.

Toronto Raptors vs. Milwaukee Bucks-Recap (ESPN, Jan. 20, 2010)
Raptors at Bucks (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Jan. 20, 2010)
Overcoming Bosh’s spark (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Jan. 20, 2010)