Milwaukee (10-19) at Toronto (12-21)

Cloudy/Windy Currently: Toronto, ON
Temp: 75° F
  • Game info: 7:00 pm EST Fri Jan 7, 2005
  • TV: WCGV, RNET
Preview | Box Score | Recap

The Milwaukee Bucks try for just their third win in 15 road games this season when they visit the Toronto Raptors—a team they haven’t lost to at Air Canada Centre in more than four years.

The Bucks are 2-12 on the road and have lost their last three away from home, but they’ve won seven straight in Toronto since a 111-102 defeat on Nov. 18, 2000.

Milwaukee returned home from a 1-3 road trip and snapped a three-game losing streak with a 97-74 win over the New Jersey Nets on Wednesday.

Joe Smith and reserve Mike James each scored 17 points, and Desmond Mason added 16 for the Bucks, who won for just the fourth time in 12 games.

The Bucks’ defense had been rather porous until facing the Nets.

Indiana’s Jermaine O’Neal had a career- and NBA season-high 55 points in the Pacers’ 116-99 victory over Milwaukee on Tuesday. Less than a month ago, Philadelphia’s Allen Iverson scored 54 against the Bucks.

Houston’s Tracy McGrady scored 42 points against Milwaukee on Sunday, and Iverson had 40 against the Bucks six days before he had 54.

Bucks coach Terry Porter finally saw a better defensive game.

“Tonight was a night where we had a lot of good execution of our defensive schemes,” he said after his team allowed an average of just over 112 points during the four-game trip that ended with the loss to the Pacers.

Toronto won its second straight Wednesday, 96-93 over the Sacramento Kings, and is trying to win three in a row for the first time since opening the season with three consecutive victories.

Chris Bosh had 23 points and 13 rebounds to record the first back-to-back 20-point games of his career. The second-year forward tied a career high with 25 points in Toronto’s victory over Orlando on Monday.

The Raptors are 6-0 when Bosh scores at least 20 points, and 4-5 since trading Vince Carter to New Jersey on Dec. 17. Toronto is hoping to rebuild around Bosh, who went 11-of-16 from the field to lead the Raptors to their fifth straight home win.

“For a big man, he has a real good jump shot from 15 feet,” said Toronto’s Jalen Rose, who had 20 points off the bench. “And he’s been rebounding a lot better. The sky is the limit for him as long as he keeps getting stronger. It’s exciting to see him progress.”

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