Ilyasova lifts shorthanded Bucks
Ilyasova had 31 points and 12 rebounds in a career-high 44 minutes, Drew Gooden added 21 points and the short-handed Milwaukee Bucks beat Toronto, 105-99, on Sunday night, their sixth straight victory over the Raptors.
With the Bucks down to just 10 healthy players, Ilyasova didn’t get much time to take a breather against Toronto.
“I was really tired in the third quarter,” Ilyasova said. “I just tried to keep on going.”
He was fading again in the fourth, but stayed on the floor all the way to the finish.
“In the fourth quarter, I was looking at the clock and there were still six minutes left,” Ilyasova said. “I just said, ‘We can make it. Just stick with the plan.’”
Bucks coach Scott Skiles called it a “huge” performance by the Turkish forward, who finished one point shy of the career high he set against Chicago last week.
Mike Dunleavy scored 19 points, including the go-ahead three-pointer in the fourth quarter as the Bucks pulled within one game of the New York Knicks for the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.
The injury-riddled Bucks lost Shaun Livingston (sprained left ankle) and Luc Richard Mbah a Moute (right knee) in Friday’s win over New York. Milwaukee swingman Stephen Jackson has been sidelined by a sore right hamstring since Feb. 19.
DeMar DeRozan scored 21 points and Jerryd Bayless had 16 for the Raptors, who couldn’t hold on after leading by as many as 13 in the first half. Toronto has lost four of six.