Bucks beat Raptors 100-83, clinch playoff spot
Posted at: 04/06/2013 9:35 PM
By ERIK BROOKS
(AP) MILWAUKEE - Monta Ellis had 22 points and nine assists, and the Milwaukee Bucks secured their first playoff berth in three seasons with a 100-83 victory over the Toronto Raptors on Saturday night.
Brandon Jennings had 16 points and seven assists, while Larry Sanders added 12 points, nine rebounds and six blocks for Milwaukee, which needed a win and a Miami victory over Philadelphia on Saturday to clinch at least the eighth seed in the Eastern Conference. The Heat beat the 76ers, 106-87.
The win was Milwaukee’s 10th straight over Toronto, its longest active winning streak over any opponent. And it pulled the Bucks within two games of the idle Boston Celtics for the No. 7 seed.
Alan Anderson led Toronto with 14 points off the bench, and Quincy Acy had 13. Rudy Gay, Toronto’s leading scorer with 18.2 points per game, made 1-of-10 shots and matched his season low with four points.
Toronto shot just 36 percent (30 of 83) and had 18 turnovers.
The game wasn’t close after the first quarter, as the Bucks used a 15-4 run late in the period to go up 24. They led 61-42 at halftime behind 14 points and seven assists from Ellis.
Milwaukee didn’t let up in the second half. Toronto missed its first nine third-quarter shots and the Bucks outscored the Raptors, 17-6, to open the period and put away the game. A thunderous alley-oop dunk by Sanders, assisted by Jennings, capped the run and made it 78-46.
Toronto scored just 13 points in the quarter and trailed 80-55 after the third. The Raptors got no closer than 15 in the fourth.
Now, the real work starts for Milwaukee (37-39), which is likely to play the top-seeded Heat (60-16) in the first round.
Since losing in seven games to the Philadelphia 76ers in the 2001 Eastern Conference finals _ with a team that featured Ray Allen, Sam Cassell and Glenn Robinson _ the Bucks have made the playoffs four times. They have lost in the first round each time.
The Bucks last made the playoffs in 2010 as a No. 6 seed after finishing the regular season 46-36. Milwaukee lost in seven games to the third-seeded Atlanta Hawks.
The Raptors, coming off wins over Washington and Minnesota, were seeking their first 30-win season since they went 40-42 in 2009-10.
Notes: Bucks F Ekpe Udoh missed the game with a sprained ankle. He is day-to-day, coach Jim Boylan said before the game. . The Raptors’ 10-game losing streak to Milwaukee is the team’s second-longest active losing streak to one opponent. Toronto has lost 11 in a row to the Heat. ... Gay also had four points in a 99-94 loss to New York Knicks on March 22. . Up big late, the crowd chanted "We want Drew!" on several occasions, and F Drew Gooden entered the game with 2:45 left to a standing ovation for his first playing time since March 10 (14 games).
(Copyright 2013 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)