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Bucks shoot for more success vs. Raptors
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Milwaukee Bucks have a good chance at their second win of the season when they welcome the Toronto Raptors to town for a Saturday showdown from the Bradley Center.
The Bucks, who rallied from 22 points down to defeat the Boston Celtics Friday night, are unbeaten in the previous 10 meetings with the Raptors and took all three of last season's encounters. The Bucks are 14-2 in the past 16 games against Toronto, losers of eight straight in Brew City.
Milwaukee set themselves up for back-to-back wins thanks to an impressive comeback in Boston. The club spoiled the celebration of the Boston Red Sox recent World Series championship by rallying from 22 points behind in the second half for a 105-98 triumph. The Bucks scored the last 10 points of the game and were led by Zaza Pachulia's 20 points off the bench.
Gary Neal, Nate Wolters and John Henson netted 14 points apiece and Khris Middleton had 13 points in the win. The Bucks, who started the fourth quarter on a 20-10 run, came back from a large deficit for a second straight game, as they trailed by 25 against the New York Knicks Wednesday and eventually lost.
"We have to figure this out, getting off to such a bad start," Bucks new coach Larry Drew said on the team's website after his first victory. "I've got to get my finger on it. Two straight games where we just got off to bad starts. It hasn't been great execution. We're just putting too pressure on ourselves defensively."
The Bucks have a stingy defense, especially with center Larry Sanders, a shot- blocking phenom. Sanders swatted four shots and scored four points Friday. O.J. Mayo had eight points.
Bucks guard Brandon Knight, who strained his right hamstring just minutes into Milwaukee's opener with New York, did not play. He and guard Luke Ridnour (back spasms) are questionable Saturday.
Toronto beat the Celtics in its season opener and fell into the loss column with Friday's 102-95 setback in Atlanta. DeMar DeRozan scored 31 points for the Raptors on 14-of-23 shooting and helped the Raptors trim an 18-point hole to six late in the game. DeRozan had 23 points over the last two quarters.
"DeMar came in the second half and did a great job," Raptors coach Dwane Casey said afterward.
Kyle Lowry chipped in 16 points and Rudy Gay struggled from the floor, making only 6-of-23 shots for 14 points. Gay had a team-high 19 points in the season opener.
After Gay nailed a pair of free throws to give Toronto a 37-36 edge -- its final lead of the contest -- with 2:47 left until the break, Atlanta closed the half on a 13-2 run.
"We can't give them a big run to where it's going to be tough for us to fight back," DeRozan said.
Amir Johnson rounded out the double-figure scorers with 13 points.
11/02 10:49:30 ET