MILWAUKEE (AP) — Pascal Siakam scored 33 points, OG Anunoby and Gary Trent Jr. had 22 apiece and the Toronto Raptors beat the short-handed Milwaukee Bucks 117-111 on Wednesday night.
Fred VanVleet added 19 points for the Raptors. They improved to 18-17 and overcame Milwaukee’s hot-shooting first half and late rally.
The defending NBA champs were without coach Mike Budenholzer after he entered the NBA’s health and safety protocols.
Milwaukee played without NBA Finals MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo, who sat out due to an illness unrelated to COVID-19. Grayson Allen, George Hill and Pat Connaughton also entered protocols on Wednesday.
Khris Middleton led the Bucks with 25 points. Jordan Nwora had 17 and Jrue Holiday and DeMarcus Cousins each had 15.
The Bucks were coming off a 115-106 home loss to lowly Detroit.
Milwaukee connected on 61% of its shots to take a 77-68 at the half, tying the most points it has scored in the first half this season. The 77 points marked the most Toronto has surrendered in any half this season. The previous high was 72 in both halves of a 144-99 loss at Cleveland on Dec. 26.
Toronto erased a 14-point deficit and tied it at 85 midway through the third. The Raptors built a 15-point lead in the fourth, but the Bucks pulled within seven with just under two minutes remaining.
Raptors: F Svi Mykhailiuk and F Yuta Watanabe remained in the health and safety protocols. … G David Johnson returned from a calf strain. … Siakim was whistled for a third-quarter technical foul after his elbow connected with Middleton’s face.
Bucks: Reserves Nwora, Thanasis Antetokounmpo and Semi Ojeleye, who had previously been unavailable due to the protocols, all returned. Nwora started. … Made 13 of 21 3-pointers in the first half but missed all eight of their 3-point attempts in the third quarter. … Cousins left the game with a left calf contusion.
Raptors: Host Utah on Friday night.
Bucks: At Brooklyn on Friday night.