Raptors in big rebound

January 06, 2019
Toronto Raptors’ Kawhi Leonard
Toronto Raptors’ Kawhi Leonard drives past Milwaukee Bucks’ Khris Middleton during first half action in NBA on Saturday in Milwaukee. NBA.com

Beat Bucks as Leonard, Siakam score 30 points each.

LOS ANGELES,  (AFP) - Kawhi Leonard and Pascal Siakam scored 30 points each as the Toronto Raptors used a balanced attack to outduel the Milwaukee Bucks 123-116 in a battle of the top two NBA teams.

Leonard was back to his old self on Saturday night following an emotional return to San Antonio on Thursday to face his former team, who bottled him up and routed the Raptors 125-107.

But he got plenty of help from a strong supporting cast as Toronto seized command in the second and third quarters and then survived a Milwaukee rally in the fourth.

“We thought we didn’t play great defence last game so we wanted to come out aggressive and pass the ball and get some more open shots and it fell in for us tonight,” Leonard said.

Siakam finished with a career-high 30, Serge Ibaka added 25 points and nine rebounds, Fred VanVleet had 21 points, and Danny Green 12 points and nine rebounds as the Raptors beat the Bucks for the first time this season.

Giannis Antetokounmpo had 43 points and 18 rebounds for Milwaukee, who came into the contest on a five-game winning streak. Malcolm Brogdon added 15 points, and Khris Middleton and Eric Bledsoe each had 14.

While the Raptors were trying to forget about being trounced in the Alamo City, the Bucks were coming off a 144-112 victory over Atlanta on Friday.

The Raptors salted the game away with a 15-2 fourth quarter surge which was highlighted by a three pointer from Siakam that gave them a 110-98 lead with just over five minutes to play.

“We came out tonight with a pass-first mindset and to take open shots. It worked out, all of us had 20 plus,” Leonard said.

Trailing by as much as 13, the Bucks opened the fourth quarter with a 14-4 run and led 96-95 with 8:12 left.

Elsewhere, Stephen Curry scored 42 points and finished with 10 three pointers as the Golden State Warriors stormed back to the beat the Sacramento Kings 127-123.

The teams combined to make 41 three-pointers, breaking the record for the most threes in a contest.

The previous record of 40 three-pointers was set last February in a game between the Minnesota Timberwolves (19) and the Cleveland Cavaliers (21).

Golden State, who blew a 20-point lead and lost 135-134 in overtime to Houston on Thursday, had another big lead disappear in the third quarter Saturday — but they managed to regroup and rally past the Kings in the fourth.

Kevin Durant added 29 points, nine assists and five rebounds, and Klay Thompson scored 20 points to help the Warriors complete a three-game sweep of the season series.

Curry scored 20 of his 42 in the final quarter and also made a pair of free throws with nine seconds to go.

Buddy Hield scored 32 points on a career-high eight threes for Sacramento, who went on a 15-0 run in the first half. The Kings set a franchise record with 20 baskets from beyond the arc.

In Portland, Jusuf Nurkic had 25 points and 15 rebounds, and the Portland Trail Blazers snapped James Harden’s 40-point streak with a 110-101 win over the Houston Rockets.