Raptors Put Together Biggest Win of the Season in Victory Over Bucks
The Toronto Raptors needed a statement victory.
On Tuesday night, they received with a 124-113 victory over the Milwaukee Bucks.
Behind a big 33 point night from Fred VanVleet, the Raptors were able to overcome an injury to Kyle Lowry to piece together a strong second half performance en route to the massive win. Pascal Siakam pitched in with 23 points and 13 rebounds of his own, while OG Anunoby returned for the Raptors and chipped in with 13 points and seven boards.
”Any time a guy goes down, it’s that next-man-up mentality that we’ve always had here,” VanVleet said. ”Something I’ve tried to continue to do is increase my level of play when he’s out. I thought the entire team just picked it up a notch when he went down. That’s what you like to see.”
Following back-to-back losses, Raptors head coach Nick Nurse decided to shuffle his rotation, pulling Aron Baynes from the starting lineup and going small with Siakam at the five. In need of some sort of spark, the move paid instant dividends as the Raptors put together one of their strongest performances of the season.
“It better be. We don’t have a choice at this point,” said VanVleet following the win on whether the Raptors should continue to roll with the smaller starting unit.
As for the status of his All-Star point guard who left the game in the third quarter with an ankle injury, Nurse remains cautiously optimistic.
“He hit it a couple of times, once in the first half and then once in the second,” Nurse said. ”They’re going to evaluate it thoroughly here tonight and we should know more here tomorrow.”
The Raptors will not be doing much traveling following the big win as they will get right back at it on Thursday night when they square off with the Bucks once again.