Quick Reaction: Raptors 107, Bucks 89

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Toronto
107
Final
Recap | Box Score
89
Milwaukee

L. Scola 25 MIN | 3-7 FG | 1-2 3FG | 0-0 FT | 7 REB | 2 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 7 PTS | — +/-
On paper, Jabari Parker wasn’t the best matchup for Scola, but the Argentine was physical enough to cause issues when the Bucks came inside and he switched on to Monroe capably. Nothing flashy, but nice to see him have a solid outing.

J. Johnson 24 MIN | 5-10 FG | 1-2 3FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 2 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 11 PTS | — +/-
Hey, good Johnson tonight! He wasn’t at his absolute sharpest defensively but worked well as the secondary ball-handler when Lowry sat, and even to help Lowry with the starters. I love how much he actively looks to put the younger players in a position to succeed.

B. Biyombo 25 MIN | 6-7 FG | 0-0 3FG | 0-0 FT | 13 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 2 BLK | 0 TO | 12 PTS | — +/-
Talk about taking another opportunity to start and running with it. I don’t think Biyombo has a selfish bone in his body, but this certainly didn’t hurt his value by any means. He was an absolute monster, and how much he’s improved from last year – and even the start of this year – remains one of the better subplots of the season.

K. Lowry 28 MIN | 5-9 FG | 4-6 3FG | 11-13 FT | 4 REB | 11 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 25 PTS | — +/-
While in the game, Lowry was absolutely insane. He set a tone from the opening tip that this wasn’t going to be the Detroit game. The Bucks had no answer to keep him from the line, he was hitting ridiculously deep threes, grabbing offensive rebounds, and even snuck in to take a transition charge against Antetokounmpo. This guy is the best.

N. Powell 35 MIN | 6-15 FG | 3-7 3FG | 2-2 FT | 3 REB | 2 AST | 1 STL | 2 BLK | 0 TO | 17 PTS | — +/-
I know this is a lot of A+ grades but COME ON NORMAN POWELL. This was, without question, the best game of his young NBA career, even with a 6-of-15 mark. He spent time on Antetokounmpo, Middleton, and even Parker, was a terror in passing lanes, and was making things happen spotting up and off the bounce on offense. This was so much fun.

P. Patterson 20 MIN | 6-11 FG | 2-4 3FG | 0-0 FT | 6 REB | 2 AST | 1 STL | 2 BLK | 1 TO | 14 PTS | — +/-
Looked like he had some renewed confidence in his 3-point shot, and it’s nearly back to his career-average of 36.6%. He’s 10 for his last 19 from outside, is averaging, like, one huge put-back a game, and was great defensively.

J. Thompson 23 MIN | 1-3 FG | 0-0 3FG | 0-0 FT | 6 REB | 0 AST | 1 STL | 1 BLK | 1 TO | 2 PTS | — +/-
Grading on a bit of a curve here since Thompson doesn’t even know the offensive playbook at center yet. He didn’t get to show much offensively but he hit the glass hard, contested at the rim, and, most encouraging, covers a lot of area on defense (I noticed this with a bird’s-eye view last night, too; he’s rangy).

T. Ross 30 MIN | 4-12 FG | 3-8 3FG | 0-0 FT | 3 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 1 TO | 11 PTS | — +/-
Not everyone can have a great night at the same time. I thought Ross was fine and none of his shots were really that egregious, he just didn’t really have it going offensively. Showed well against much larger wings.

L. Nogueira 4 MIN | 0-0 FG | 0-0 3FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 0 PTS | — +/-
Came in, went to the wrong end of the floor, committed a turnover. Managed to make me laugh twice in four minutes.

D. Wright 3 MIN | 0-1 FG | 0-0 3FG | 2-2 FT | 1 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 2 PTS | — +/-
Had a good defensive rebound and got to the line from a pick-and-roll with Nogueira. Would have been nice to see a bit more of him, but whatever.

C. Joseph 25 MIN | 3-8 FG | 0-0 3FG | 0-0 FT | 3 REB | 6 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 6 PTS | — +/-
You can’t play Lowry just 28 minutes without his backup giving really steady minutes. Joseph provided those, and while he didn’t score all that efficiently, he’s so damn smart with his passes on the perimeter that he’s usually a factor in those nice “extra pass” plays. The usual good defense, even with a size disadvantage in a few minutes alongside Lowry.

Dwane Casey
Liked that Casey trusted a rag-tag crew to open the fourth up 21. It seems obvious, but that’s something he’s been hesitant to do, even with a hefty lead, so kudos to him for the trust and the long-view. I also liked him getting a tech up 24 and calling a timeout when Milwaukee went on a mini-run, treating every minute the same to prevent slippage. He had these guys ready, it was great.

Five Things We Saw

The Raptors magic number is now 4. As in, a combination of four Toronto wins and Detroit losses will clinch the Raptors a playoff spot. They’re also now 6.5 up on Boston and only two back of Cleveland. They have 45 wins on March 15.
Shout out to everyone not named Lowry for allowing Lowry to sit so long. At 28 minutes, this is the second fewest minutes Lowry’s played all season, and in 20 minutes without him, lineups without a true leader or go-to managed a minus-3 mark, which is more than fine.
I have way too much invested in Powell’s development, improvement, and success. It’s not a great way to be, journalistically, but as a UCLA fan and someone who raved about him in summer league and spoke with him regularly during his D-League time, I’m really, really glad to see him playing and playing well.
The ball moved phenomenally well. Part of that was a lack of high-end talent to go one-on-one and part of it was a lack of spacing leaving no room for easy drives without passing and cutting. And of course, some are going to draw a line between the absences and the surge in passing (27 assists vs. 12 against Chicago), but try not to overreact to one game – the Raptors only average 1.1 more assists per-100 possessions with DeRozan on the bench for the season. But yes, I get it. (By the way, the more relevant point to make about the absence of those two would be on the defensive side of the ball.)
I have but a single complaint about this game: Bruno Caboclo was inactive despite having two injured players. They should have played him in his suit and taken the fine. This game was so much fun.

Follow @raptorsrepublicFollow @BlakeMurphyODCQuick Reaction: Raptors 107, Bucks 89 originated on Raptors Republic: ESPN TrueHoop Network Blog.

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