Bucks beat Raptors; home finale for Redd?
MILWAUKEE Brandon Jennings broke free for three straight fast-break scores to give Milwaukee the lead in the fourth quarter, and the Bucks held on to beat the undermanned Toronto Raptors, 93-86, on Monday night.
John Salmons scored 24 points and Jennings added 21 for the Bucks in their final home game of what has been a disappointing season.
It may have been the final game at the Bradley Center in a Bucks uniform for Michael Redd, the team’s longest-tenured player. He played 14 minutes, scoring two points on 1-for-6 shooting.
Jerryd Bayless scored 20 for Toronto in a matchup between two teams eliminated from playoff contention. The injury-riddled Raptors used only eight players.
Redd, the Bucks’ second-round pick in the 2000 NBA draft, is making approximately $18 million in the final year of a $91 million, six-year contract he signed in 2005. A productive scorer most of his career, Redd has missed most of the past two seasons because of two separate injuries to his left knee.
The Bucks finish the season at Oklahoma City on Wednesday.
Redd has played sporadically off the bench since he returned to the court this year, and was on the bench to start Monday’s game. The entire team was introduced before the final home game, and Redd received warm applause when his name was called.
It wouldn’t have taken long to introduce the entire Toronto squad. The Raptors brought only nine players to Milwaukee, then found out that forward Reggie Evans was unable to play because of a sore left index finger. Joey Dorsey started in his place.
Leandro Barbosa has a sore right pinky finger, Andrea Bargnani a sore right ankle, Jose Calderon a sore left hamstring, Amir Johnson a sore left ankle and Sonny Weems a sore right knee.
Milwaukee wanted to wear Toronto down and get Raptors players in foul trouble, but it didn’t work out that way in the first half. The Raptors shot 23 free throws before halftime to the Bucks’ 11.
Still, Toronto controlled most of the game against a Milwaukee team that has played well on defense for most of the season but struggled to guard in recent games.
Then the Raptors started turning the ball over, and the Bucks took advantage.
Trailing by two, the Bucks shot to an 81-77 lead with 5:31 left on three straight fast-break scores by Jennings, including an emphatic slam dunk. Drew Gooden hit a pair of free throws, giving the Bucks a six-point lead.
Toronto later cut the lead to two with 1:33 left, but Gooden hit a layup and converted a three-point play to put the game out of reach.