Keep Giannis

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Toronto Raptors Sweep Back-to-Back Against Struggling Bucks

The Toronto Raptors have looked like a completely different team over their last two games.

No Kyle Lowry in the lineup, no issues to report.

On Thursday night, the Raptors handled business against the Eastern Conference powerhouse Milwaukee Bucks yet again, handing Milwaukee their fifth straight defeat and their second loss to the Raptors this week.

Norman Powell led the way with 29 points, while Pascal Siakam chipped in with 27 points, six boards, and five assists en route to the 110-96 victory. Fred VanVleet scored 17 points of his own in a game in which the Raptors were able to dominate the Bucks on the defensive end while taking care of the basketball.

“It doesn’t really start with defence. As I’ve mentioned you have to really take care of the basketball. They are so great turning turnovers into fastbreak buckets. You have to take rhythm shots on offence so that your team is not putting itself in a half-second or full-second delay on whether they can get back or not,” said Nurse before the game. “So, it starts with that. Then you really have to hustle back and try to use a minimum of two, sometimes three guys, to slow Giannis down in transition so he can’t get to the rim.

“Then obviously the next step is if you do that he’s usually kicking it out to a pretty good shooter so you have to peel out as fast as you can and start playing from there. Now, that’s part of it to get all that done to get them in the half court and then there’s several little schemes we like to do when they get in their halfcourt game as well. It’s a lot. It’s a lot for our players to do. They got tremendous size and length and athleticism and a lot of shooting so it’s quite a list of things you have to get done to be successful against this team at the defensive end.”

Separately, the Raptors recalled rookie point guard Malachi Flynn from the 905. Flynn, who has put together a string of excellent performances in the G League bubble, will play in place of Lowry while the All-Star guard works himself back from injury.

Next up for the Raptors are the Minnesota Timberwolves before a back-to-back against the Philadelphia 76ers.

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