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NBA Preview from The Sports Network



Saturday, March 2nd (All times Eastern)

Toronto Raptors (23-36) at Milwaukee Bucks (28-28), 8:30 p.m.

(Sports Network) - The Toronto Raptors hope to snap a three-game losing streak Saturday night when they head to the Bradley Center to take on the Milwaukee Bucks.

The Raptors have lost four of five, but had a 7-5 February for their first winning month since January of 2010. That was due in large part to the acquisition of Rudy Gay in late January.

Toronto hits the road for a four-game trip, starting in Milwaukee. Saturday's tilt with the Bucks will be the Raptors' first game outside the eastern time zone since Dec. 28 and they will go further west next week to meet the Golden State Warriors, Phoenix Suns and Los Angeles Lakers.

On Friday, the slide reached three after a 93-81 home loss to the Indiana Pacers. Gay had 21 points and John Lucas III and Alan Anderson scored in double figures off the bench.

The Raptors shot 40 percent from the field and 27 percent from the 3-point line against one of the best defensive teams in the NBA.

"That's the level we've got to get ready for," said Raptors head coach Dwane Casey. "If we go anywhere we need to develop that mentality when we go against the hitting, grabbing, holding. That's playoff basketball. We've got to get ready for that."

The Bucks have won two straight after a rough stretch. Both wins came on the road and in Texas, but the Bucks have lost their last two in their own building.

Both road wins were impressive, considering the Bucks were down double figures in both games. On Wednesday, Milwaukee overcame a 17-point deficit to edge the Houston Rockets, 110-107.

Monta Ellis hit a 3-pointer at the buzzer to round out a great performance and earn his team the tough victory.

"Thank God it went in. That's all I can say," said Ellis. "We played hard, both teams played hard, we just stuck with it and it was just one of those things where we had to force a shot. Thank God it went in."

Ellis, who played almost 45 minutes, had 27 points, 13 assists, six rebounds and six steals.

Ersan Ilyasova netted 20, Mike Dunleavy added 16, newly-acquired J.J. Redick had 14 and Larry Sanders scored 10.

The Bucks, who are six games clear of the Philadelphia 76ers for the eighth playoff spot in the Eastern Conference, have owned the Raptors in recent history.

Milwaukee won in Toronto on Jan. 13 and swept the series each of the previous two seasons for an eight-game winning streak against the Raptors. Toronto hasn't won in Milwaukee since Nov. 1, 2008, dropping the past six visits.

03/02 10:28:41 ET

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