Bucks pull away in OT to beat Toronto
Monta Ellis did it — again.
Ellis scored six of his 23 points in overtime, and Ersan Ilyasova and Brandon Jennings added five apiece in the extra period to spark the Milwaukee Bucks to a 122-114 victory over the Toronto Raptors on Saturday night.
Ellis also was the star of the Bucks' 110-107 victory over the Houston Rockets on Wednesday night. He scored 27 points, but it was his last shot, a 3-pointer at the buzzer, that sealed the win.
Against Toronto, Ellis was 9 of 18 from the floor and had five assists, five rebounds and three steals.
''We played hard and found a way to finish the game,'' Ellis said. ''These last few games, I'm just taking what the defense is giving me.''
Ellis likes the impact that newly acquired J.J. Redick has had.
''Adding J.J. to the team stretches the defense and opens up a lot of things for Brandon and me,'' Ellis said. Redick was acquired Feb. 21 in a trade with Orlando.
Ilyasova finished with 29 points and 11 rebounds, while Jennings had a career-high 19 assists, including one in overtime for Milwaukee.
''They executed their plays in that overtime very well,'' Kyle Lowry said after finishing with his first triple-double this season. ''They jumped out to a 6-0 lead in overtime and we kind of had to play catch up from there.''
Lowry had 10 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists, Alan Anderson scored 21 points off the bench and Amir Johnson added 19 for Toronto, which lost for the fourth consecutive time and fifth in six games since tying a season best with a five-game winning streak.
Toronto was without Rudy Gay, the team's leading scorer at 18 points per game, who was a game-time decision due to back spasms.
''I loved our fight with Rudy being out,'' Toronto's head coach Dwane Casey said. ''Our guys are pulling together, pulling for each other.''
Tied at 104 at the end of regulation, Larry Sanders dunked in Ellis' missed shot to put the Bucks ahead 106-104 for good. Then, Ellis drove the lane, passed to Ilyasova, who made the layup. He followed that with a 3-point play and the Bucks had a 111-104 lead. Lowry hit a wide-open 3 for Toronto, but Ellis scored on a layup. DeMar DeRozan answered with a layup.
Ellis hit an open 21-foot jumpshot to push the lead to 115-109.
On Toronto's next possession, DeRozan made a driving layup. Jennings buried a 3 from the corner baseline with 39.3 seconds left. After a timeout, DeRozan fouled out after getting tangled up with Jennings with 29.9 seconds left. Toronto fouled Jennings who sank two free throws. Another 3 by Lowry pulled the Raptors to 120-114.
Ellis made two free throws for the final points. Toronto worked the ball to Anderson who fired up a shot and missed. Jennings grabbed the rebound as time expired.
Ellis scored eight points in the fourth quarter, but it wasn't enough, as John Lucas hit three 3s and Johnson and Anderson each added six points. Anderson tied the game at 104 when he took a pass from Landry Fields, faked Sanders to the floor and slammed in the ball. Fields scored 15 points for Toronto.
NOTES: Toronto's last win in Milwaukee was 91-87 on Nov. 1, 2008 ... The Bucks' eight-game winning stretch over Toronto is their longest active streak against any opponent ... The Bucks came in with a 6 1/2-game lead over Toronto in the eighth playoff spot ... John Lucas III finished with 16 points for his 12th double-double this season. He was 4 of 5 from behind the arc.