NBA Game Preview: Toronto Raptors at Milwaukee Bucks

Jan 17, 2023

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Game: Toronto Raptors @ Milwaukee Bucks

Time: 7:30 p.m.

Odds: Raptors +5, Bucks -5

Total:  224

The Milwaukee Bucks will try and make it two in a row as they host the Toronto Raptors tonight. Yesterday, Milwaukee defeated Indiana by outscoring the Pacers 39-21 in the fourth quarter to earn a 132-119 victory. Thanks to Jrue Holiday’s 35 points and 11 assists, the Bucks overcame back-to-back losses in Miami and a 13-point deficit against the Pacers with Giannis Antetokounmpo out for a third straight game due to knee soreness.

It’s entirely possible Holiday will have to step it up again. Antetokounmpo is listed as questionable for tonight. Holiday recorded a double-double on Monday for the third time in a row, and his 35 points were a season high. Brook Lopez scored 19 points for Milwaukee, Bobby Portis added 21 points and 11 rebounds, and Grayson Allen added eight of his 17 points in the crucial fourth quarter.

Late in the fourth quarter, George Hill, who hadn’t played since January 6, came off the bench to score nine points and contribute crucial defense. Hill is a big part of Milwaukee’s bench and he appears to be back at 100 percent.

Toronto defeated the Knicks in overtime, 123-121, to escape New York on Monday afternoon. After forcing overtime with an RJ Barrett dunk with one second remaining in regulation, the Raptors withstood a ferocious Knicks comeback in the extra period.

It was Toronto’s fourth victory in the previous five games. Fred VanVleet scored 33 points and dished out eight assists, Scottie Barnes scored 26 points, and Pascal Siakam nearly had a triple-double with 20 points, nine assists, and eight rebounds for the Raptors.

The Raptors’ winning streak also marked the beginning of a stretch in which they will play 10 of their following 12 games away from home. Tonight marks the second of a series of three straight road games.

Prior to their victory on Monday, the Raptors had lost all three of their overtime contests this season, including a 104-101 defeat to Milwaukee on January 4. In that game, VanVleet recorded a double-double with 28 points, 12 assists, and 8 rebounds, but Toronto was unable to overcome Antetokounmpo’s 30 points and 21 rebounds.

In that most recent matchup with Milwaukee, Siakam had his worst scoring effort of the year, scoring just 11 points on 4-of-18 shooting from the field. Siakam is the top performer for Toronto this season in terms of scoring, rebounding, assists per game, and field goal percentage among the Raptors’ starters.

Scottie Barnes, the 2021-22 Rookie of the Year, scored at least 21 points on Monday for the third time in a row and for the fourth time in his previous five games. Raptors head coach Nick Nurse loves the effort from Barnes.

He’s one of the reasons why Toronto is 4-1 SU and ATS in its last five games. The Raptors are also 5-1 SU and ATS in their last six games against Milwaukee. The Bucks are actually 0-5 ATS in their last five games against Toronto at home.

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