Cassell scored 19 points and the Bucks won their fourth straight
with a 99-87 victory over Toronto on Wednesday night.
"We couldn't take them lightly. They beat us last time,'' said
Cassell, whose team lost at home to Toronto on Dec. 17. "We just
had to get this win. We're playing pretty good right now and we
have to continue that.''
Ray Allen and Toni Kukoc each added 15 points for the Bucks, who
hadn't won four in a row since an eight-game run from Jan. 8-21,
2002. Milwaukee also has beaten Chicago, Detroit and Atlanta during
"Toronto gave us a bad loss three weeks ago and that hurt us,''
Milwaukee coach George Karl said. "We're trying to build a little
The Raptors dressed the NBA minimum eight players, including
three on 10-day contracts. All-Star Vince Carter missed his 19th
straight game with a strained right knee.
The Raptors have lost 13 of 15, but they won their previous two
Toronto's Morris Peterson said the Bucks played harder against
them this time.
"I thought they were a little more ready than last game when we
beat them at home,'' Peterson said. "I think they played harder
Peterson had 22 points for the Raptors, who trailed by as many
as 21 points.
Peterson had seven points as the Raptors cut Milwaukee's lead to
10 with a 9-2 run early in the third quarter, but Cassell made a
jumper and two free throws as the Bucks followed with an 8-2 run.
The Raptors cut the lead to nine on Peterson's two free throws
with 3:22 left in the fourth, but Allen followed with two free
Alvin Williams then turned the ball over with two minutes left,
and later followed with a missed layup.
Michael Redd's layup gave Milwaukee a 96-83 lead with 1:13 left,
and Allen's 3-pointer made it 99-85 with 50 seconds remaining.
The Bucks, who had five players reach double figures in scoring,
shot 54 percent from the field, compared to 39.5 percent for the
"We fought really hard. They just came in and shot the ball
really well,'' Toronto's Antonio Davis said.
Davis made the first basket of the game, but the Bucks never
trailed after that.
Allen had eight points in the first, including two 3-pointers.
Kukoc made two layups to spark a 17-4 run bridging the first and
Tim Thomas' easy layup gave Milwaukee a 21-point lead -- their
biggest lead of the game -- with 4:36 left in the half.
Cassell had eight points and five assists in the second as
Milwaukee led by 16 at halftime. The Bucks shot 63 percent in the
first half, compared to 40 percent for the Raptors.
The Bucks had lost five of seven before their current
winning streak. ... Redd added 14 points and Thomas had 12. ... The
Raptors issued a press release defending their decision to keep
Carter "out of action a little while longer.'' Carter practiced
twice last week and was hoping to play in last Friday's game
against New Jersey, but doctors delayed his return. Carter isn't
practicing with the team. ... Toronto outrebounded Milwaukee 47-35.
... Kukoc also had six assists and five rebounds. ... Toronto's
Rafer Alston, signed to a 10-day contract last Wednesday, had 14
points but went just 5-for-14 from the field. Alston played for the
Bucks last season. ... Davis went 1-for-10 from the field for seven