Bucks work overtime for third straight win
Close, nail-biting, down-to-the wire games are becoming second nature for the Milwaukee Bucks.
The Bucks have won three in a row after a 122-114 overtime victory over Toronto on Saturday night at the BMO Harris Bradley Center.
"If that's the way it's going to be, that's the way it's going to be," Milwaukee coach Jim Boylan said. "I'm getting kind of comfortable with it."
Ersan Ilyasova finished with 29 points and 12 rebounds to lead Milwaukee (29-28), which shot 50 percent from the field and had assists on 32 of 46 shots.
Brandon Jennings had a career-high 19 assists, including 10 in the first half.
"The team is playing well together right now," Boylan said. "Guys are sharing the ball, staying active ... it's a good thing to see."
Jennings finished with 11 points, including a 3-pointer late in overtime that put Milwaukee up by seven with 39 seconds to play.
"I was struggling trying to score tonight," Jennings said. "I was able to knock it down and seal the game a little bit. Finally got one to go."
Monta Ellis finished with 23 points, including a 3-pointer with 1:03 left in overtime to put the Bucks ahead by six. J.J. Redick went 6 of 12 from the field to finish with 16 points and Larry Sanders added 13 points and 12 rebounds. Luc Richard Mbah a Moute had 10 points.
Alan Anderson paced the Raptors with 21 points. Demar DeRozan scored 18, Amir Johnson added 19 points and nine rebounds, and Landry Fields finished with 15 points. Kyle Lowry posted his first triple-double of the season with 10 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists in 36 minutes.
Toronto shot 46 percent from the field, topping 45 percent for the first time in seven games.
"Everybody is still pulling the rope in the right direction," Toronto coach Dwane Casey said. "We stubbed our toe tonight, which was a big game for us, but there are a lot of positives in that locker room right now. Everybody's hurt that we lost, but we know that if we compete like that for 48 minutes, we will be a special team."
The Bucks went ahead early in the third quarter on a midrange jumper by Sanders to make it 58-56. Ellis went to the bench after picking up three quick fouls -- giving him four for the game -- in the first five minutes of the quarter, but Milwaukee moved forward and went ahead by as many as 10 after Ilyasova hit two free throws with 4:13 left in the third quarter.
Toronto wasn't done. An 11-5 run capped by back-to-back 3-pointers from John Lucas III made it 85-84 Raptors with 9:34 to play. Milwaukee, meanwhile, went 1 of 11 from the field during that stretch before Ellis hit a jumper from the top of the key with 7:35 remaining, snapping Milwaukee's drought.
Tied again at 102 after a Redick layup, Milwaukee went ahead on Ilyasova's tip-in of an Ellis misfire, but the Raptors tied it with 1.6 seconds left on Anderson's running dunk. Lowry swatted away the Bucks' inbound attempt, forcing overtime.
Milwaukee scored the first seven points of the extra session.
NOTES: Toronto entered the game 10th in the Eastern Conference, 6 1/2 games behind Milwaukee for the eighth and final playoff spot. With two victories this season, the Bucks are assured of the tiebreaer ... Sanders entered the game having scored in double digits in his last eight games -- the longest streak of his career. ... Milwaukee has won the last nine meetings between the teams. ... Toronto's Rudy Gay missed the game because of back spasms.
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