The Milwaukee Bucks knew it would be tough playing without their leading scorer for at least the next month. The possibility of losing their second-leading scorer for an extended period could have doomed their season.
The Bucks, who have dropped four of five, are coming off a 104-92 loss on Monday to Denver in its first game without Michael Redd.
Redd, who leads the Bucks with 27.7 points per game, strained his left knee during a 95-86 loss to Cleveland on Friday, and is expected to miss four to six weeks. The Bucks know they are going to have to find someone to fill the offensive void.
“It’s not an excuse to get a loss just because Michael is not here,” center Andrew Bogut said. “You have to have someone step up for him and figure out a way to win. You can’t expect one guy to make up what Michael gave us individually. We have to play more like a team now.”
Williams, second behind Redd at 17.3 ppg, left late in the first half of the loss to the Nuggets when he suffered a sprained left shoulder after colliding with a Denver player. Williams missed two foul shots before exiting with 29 seconds left, and is listed as day-to-day.
Milwaukee already was playing without Charlie Villanueva, who has missed three games because of an injured right shoulder and will be examined again in another week. Acquired from Toronto in the offseason, the former Connecticut star missed 10 games from Nov. 15-Dec. 6 with a torn elbow ligament.
The injuries place additional pressure on Ruben Patterson, who started in Redd’s spot Monday and finished with 29 points, three shy of his career high. Patterson is averaging 13.7 points per game this season, but has averaged 18.0 in the team’s last three games.
The Bucks were 7-0 at home in December before losing to the Cavaliers on Friday.
Toronto (15-20) lost its third straight on the road after a 101-86 defeat at New Jersey on Tuesday. The Raptors’ starters were outscored 77-29, with Rasho Nesterovic and T.J. Ford held without a point.
“Normally I don’t like to give stat sheets out after the game,” coach Sam Mitchell said. “I feel that all the guys who started should get a stat sheet tonight. Take it on the bus with them and put it under their pillow and sleep with it. Sometimes you need that slap in the face.”
Toronto has lost four of its last six, and is just 5-15 on the road this season. The Raptors, though, have won five of their last eight visits to Milwaukee after dropping 12 of 14 there.
This is the second meeting between the teams this season. The Raptors posted a 109-92 win in Toronto on Nov. 3 behind 26 points and 15 rebounds from Chris Bosh. Bogut had 18 points and Villaneuva added 17 and 11 rebounds for the Bucks.