DeRozan leads Raptors to pre-season win over Bucks

The Canadian Press
10/22/2012 11:03:01 PM
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TORONTO -- A pre-season win did little to impress Toronto's head coach after the Raptors did all they could to give the ball away.

Dwane Casey wasn't interested in Toronto's 104-95 victory over the Milwaukee Bucks on Monday. He was too distracted by the 19 turnovers committed by the Raptors.

Toronto allowed 10 points off 14 turnovers in the first half alone and trailed Milwaukee 48-47 at halftime. Casey wouldn't say what he told his team at the break.

"You can't print it," said Casey. "When it gets for real and you have 19 turnovers, it's got going to work. I don't want to get fooled by that 104 number with the 19 turnovers."

Toronto's bench erased a seven-point third quarter deficit, going on a 14-2 run early in the fourth led by Alan Anderson, who drained a pair from beyond the arc.

DeMar DeRozan led the way with a team-high 21 points. DeRozan added a couple crowd-pleasing dunks while Amir Johnson, who came into the game leading the Raptors in shooting, finished the night 5 for 10 with 10 points.

Andrea Bargnani added 17 points while Kyle Lowry scored 15 and had six assists.

The win helped Toronto (5-1) finish the pre-season with a 5-0 record at home for the first time since 2007.

The loss was the Bucks' (2-4) fourth straight of the pre-season.

Milwaukee's Monta Ellis, who was hot early, finished with a game-high 26 points. The 26-year-old scored nine straight at one point in the first quarter.

"We didn't do a good job," said Casey. "They came out with screens, had a rhythm and we got to get them out of that rhythm and again defensively we're not where we need to be, where we're going to be.

"I knew it wasn't going to be easy and it's never easy when you play a (Milwaukee head coach) Scott Skiles team."

Raptors centre Jonas Valanciunas, who was drafted for his aggressive defensive play and prowess off the glass, showed why the Raptors drafted him fifth overall in 2011.

The rookie had a couple big blocks in the early going including one on Bucks centre Samuel Dalembert, finishing with a pre-season high four blocks on the night and eight rebounds.

The 20-year-old Lithuanian finished 8 for 10 from the free-throw line and finished his night with 10 points.

"(Valanciunas) did a much better job. I like his growth," Casey said. "I love the way he is making free throws. He is learning the rhythm of the game."

Notes: Raptors guard Terrence Ross missed Monday's game with flu-like symptoms. ... Bucks forward Larry Saunders missed the contest with what the team was calling "conduct issues." ... Toronto waived guard Jerel McNeal and forward Chris Wright after the game. McNeal played in one exhibition game while Wright never made it onto the court. The Raptors' roster is now at 16. ... Toronto concludes its pre-season schedule Friday when they visit Memphis before opening the regular season at home against Indiana on Halloween.

DeMar DeRozan (Photo: Ron Turenne/NBAE/Getty Images)


(Photo: Ron Turenne/NBAE/Getty Images)
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