Raptors give up 20-point lead in loss to Bucks
TORONTO - Brandon Jennings and John Henson scored 19 points apiece to lead the Milwaukee Bucks 107-96 over the Raptors on Sunday, a game that saw Toronto give up a 20-point lead.
The loss spoiled strong outings from Amir Johnson and Ed Davis — Johnson finishing with 22 points and 14 rebounds, and Davis scoring 20 points and grabbing 12 boards.
DeMar DeRozan added 23 points, while Jose Calderon had 21 points and eight assists for the Raptors (14-23), who struggled after two of their leading players were injured.
Calderon tweaked his right calf muscle in the first quarter, and started the second half with it wrapped in a sleeve. Johnson came down awkwardly on the right ankle that had already been bothering him. He also started the second half, with his ankle re-taped.
The Raptors had a 20-point lead in the first quarter and appeared poised to cruise to its second consecutive rout, coming two days after they clobbered Charlotte 99-78 for their 10th win in 13 games.
But the Bucks battled back, pulling even with Toronto just before halftime.
The Raptors led 78-74 going into the fourth, but couldn't put any more distance on the Bucks and a driving layup by Monta Ellis gave the Bucks a 97-91 lead with 2:20 to play. A pair of free throws and a dunk by Larry Sanders later and the Raptors were suddenly down by 10.
There were some boos and someone chanted "Let's go Argos!" as the Raptors trudged off the court, having wrapped up their six-game homestand 3-3.
Monta Ellis added 17 points for the Bucks (19-17).
Calderon was firing on all cylinders before the injury. In the first quarter, he drained all three of his three-point attempts and led an offence that didn't record one turnover. He and Johnson had the Air Canada Centre crowd of 17,384 on its feet when Calderon fired a long bounce pass to a sprinting Johnson, who finished with a bucket. The next timeout, teammate Kyle Lowry goodnaturedly fanned Calderon with a towel.
Calderon led the league in assist to turnover ratio in the 10 games prior to Sunday's and the Raptors' 25.8 assists a night were also an NBA best over 10 games.
"He sees the floor and he helps everybody else," Raptors coach Dwane Casey said of Calderon. "All our players need help, they need a quarterback out there, they need the Peyton Manning out there on the floor to help them see the floor and help make decisions for them.
"He's done a heck of a job making sure everybody's in the right place, he's our computer on the floor."
Calderon had more points than the Bucks combined for most of the first quarter, and his third three of the quarter gave the Raptors an 18-point lead. They would stretch it to 20 before taking a 34-16 advantage into the second.
The Bucks raced out on a 22-6 run to open the second quarter, trimming the Raptors' advantage to just two points. Milwaukee pulled even just before the break, and the Raptors — who had 11 turnovers in the second quarter — led just 49-47 at halftime.
Ersan Illyasova's three-pointer five minutes into the third quarter gave the Bucks a five-point lead and drew a smattering of boos from the ACC crowd. Toronto found some much-needed energy to finish out the quarter, and took a 78-74 lead into the fourth.
NOTES: Toronto had lost four straight at home to the Bucks heading into Sunday. . . The Raptors are at Brooklyn on Tuesday then back home to host the Chicago Bulls on Wednesday. They visit Philadelphia on Friday before Steve Nash and the Los Angeles Lakers come to town next Sunday.
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