TORONTO (AP) – Fred VanVleet scored 13 of his 29 points in the fourth quarter and the Toronto Raptors took advantage of Giannis Antetokounmpo sitting out with a sore right calf to beat Milwaukee 97-93 yesterday, ending the Bucks’ winning streak at eight.
Antetokounmpo sat one day after he scored 40 points as Milwaukee beat Charlotte 127-125. The two-time NBA MVP didn’t play for the first time since November 12, when he missed an overtime loss at Boston because of a sprained right ankle.
“He’s got some soreness,” Bucks coach Mike Budenholzer said. “He feels it on certain things.
I think we feel like it’s hopefully something that’s very short term and that a day or two and hopefully he’ll be ready to go.”
VanVleet said the Raptors found out Antetokounmpo wasn’t playing about 30 minutes before tip-off.
“You don’t flinch,” VanVleet said. “In the back of your head you just thank the man upstairs, and you go out there and try to get a win.”
Pascal Siakam scored 20 points and Scottie Barnes had 13as the Raptors won for the first time in four games and snapped a five-game home losing streak, their longest since January 2011. Toronto is 3-8 at home.
VanVleet shot nine for 17, including five for 10 from long range. He also had four assists and five rebounds.
“He was kind of involved in all of it tonight,” Raptors coach Nick Nurse said.
VanVleet scored 26 of his 29 points in the second half after making one of three attempts in the first two quarters.
“I just reset at half and just made sure I’d be aggressive,” VanVleet said. “I knew that we probably couldn’t win without me being aggressive.”
Jrue Holiday scored a season-high 26 points, Khris Middleton had 22 and Bobby Portis Jr had 15 points and 11 rebounds for the Bucks, who lost for the first time since a November 14 defeat at Atlanta.
Newly signed centre DeMarcus Cousins was out for Milwaukee. Cousins scored seven points in 15 minutes in his Bucks debut on Wednesday.