Bucks roll over Raptors
The Milwaukee Bucks’ forward thinks he might have had a game previously in his career in which he didn’t miss a shot. But it certainly was not a game where he took this many shots.
Mason was flawless Tuesday night at the Bradley Center, sinking all 10 of his shots—and an impressive array of hooks, jumpers, jump-hooks and runners it was—to lead a stunning offensive barrage that carried the Bucks to a 112-85 romp over the shell-shocked Toronto Raptors.
It was a superb all-around performance by the Bucks against a team that is supposed to make some noise in the East. The Bucks took it to the Raptors from the opening tip and led by 15 at halftime, then by 27 in the third quarter and 36 in the fourth.
Bucks assistant Tony Brown filled in for coach Larry Krystkowiak, whose wife, Jan, gave birth to twin girls at 7:42 p.m.
Mason set the tone early, making all five of his shots in helping the Bucks to a 14-point lead after one quarter.
“I’ve had a few (games) with one miss but I don’t think I’ve ever had no misses with double-digit shots,” said Mason. Maybe a four-for-four, or five-for-five . . . but not a 10-for-10.
“I got fouled on two of them and I still made them. There were some lucky ones. Tonight the rim was big for me and it was my night. Other nights, it’s going to be somebody else. My teammates really did a good job of getting me the ball in places where I can operate. When I felt I was doubled, I tried to get the ball out and guys were knocking down shots all over the place. We played solid basketball for 48 minutes.”
Mason’s teammates could sense it was his night when they started seeing jump-hooks flying in from a considerable distance.
“He shot some from (bleeping) 15-feet,” said center Andrew Bogut. “You can go ask him about that. He always does that.”
Said Brown, “Desmond had it rolling tonight.”
Mason finished with 21 points and all five starters, along with reserve forward Bobby Simmons, got in on the fun by scoring in double figures.
Guard Michael Redd played a strong all-around game and finished with 17 points, seven rebounds and six assists. Bogut continued his strong work on the boards, grabbing 11 rebounds to go with 12 points. Mo Williams ran the show at the point, missed only one shot, and pitched in 13 points and six assists, and rookie Yi Jianlian scored 12 points. Simmons scored 11 points on five-of-six shooting.
The Bucks, who had been having difficulty getting untracked offensively, shot 60.3 percent for the game and passed for 31 assists.
“We shared the ball,” Mason said. “That doesn’t happen very often. We really moved the ball and everyone got involved. And the main thing is we had fun doing it.”
Said Redd, “Any time you get 31 assists, that’s big. We were looking for each other and after awhile it gets contagious and then it trickles to the defensive side where we trust each other as well.”
The Bucks sank 21 of their first 26 shots (80.8 percent) and held a 49-29 lead early in the second quarter. Making 27-of-40 shots (67.5 percent), the Bucks led at halftime, 63-48. They made nine of their first 11 shots in the third quarter to take an 83-56 lead with 3:16 left. Not forgotten afterward was the Krystkowiak family in the hospital celebrating the victory in a special way.
“We wanted to win this one for Coach, too,” Redd said.