Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Toronto Raptors Beat Bucks 110-100 to Set Franchise Record for Victories

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Toronto Raptors Beat Bucks 110-100 to Set Franchise Record for Victories

Article excerpt

Raptors beat Bucks to set record for wins

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TORONTO - A night that began with the unfurling of their Atlantic Division banner ended with the Toronto Raptors setting a franchise record for victories.

But they barely paused to soak up the good feelings Wednesday after beating the lowly Milwaukee Bucks 110-100 to notch win No. 48.

"We've got a bigger goal," said Kyle Lowry.

Greivis Vasquez -- filling in for all-star DeMar DeRozan, who was given the night off to rest up for the post-season -- scored 25 points to top the playoff-bound Raptors (48-33). Lowry added 24 points, Jonas Valanciunas had 14 points and 13 rebounds, Tyler Hansbrough scored 12 points and grabbed 11 boards, while Amir Johnson finished with 10 points.

"Franchise record, (but) we're just going to keep pushing and see what's next for us," Johnson said. "We're always looking for the next thing, just have to keep moving."

Toronto had won 47 games twice before -- in 2000-'01 and 2006-'07.

It's been a remarkable turnaround for a team that went from 48 losses last season to now 48 wins with one game to go -- they wrap up the regular-season Wednesday at New York.

"All it takes is the right chemistry, the right group of guys, and you can do whatever it takes," DeRozan said. "You don't need no big-name players, you don't need this, that. . . what people supposedly say you need.

"I think we're proof of that, and we continue to keep growing and keep learning and keep building and it's on to the next step."

The Raptors stumbled out to a 6-12 season start. The about-face came after the blockbuster seven-player trade in December that sent Rudy Gay to the Sacramento Kings for Vasquez, John Salmons, Patrick Patterson, and Chuck Hayes.

"I'm glad we made the trade for those guys, they came in and they've done an unbelievable job and the coaching staff has done an unbelievable job also," Lowry said.

The Raptors never trailed Monday, and were up by as much as 22 points in the second quarter. They took an 84-69 advantage into the fourth against a Bucks team that is guaranteed to finish with the worst record in the NBA this season.

But the Bucks showed some fight in the fourth, pulling to within seven points on an alley-oop dunk by Jeff Adrien with 7:27 to play. That was as close as the Bucks would come as Lowry's six points were part of a 12-5 Raptors run that put them ahead by 14 with three minutes to play.

Raptors coach Dwane Casey wasn't thrilled with his team's performance.

"I know it's ringing hollow, but we still have to continue to work to get better," Casey said. "We're not where we need to be, defensively, offensively, for the playoffs. We're not a veteran team who can take three or four games off, and expect to come back and keep that rhythm."

Ramon Sessions scored 21 points to top the Bucks (15-66) in their 14th straight loss on the road. …

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