Toronto (34-29) at Milwaukee (23-40)

Mostly Cloudy Currently: Milwaukee, WI
Temp: 32° F
  • Game info: 8:00 pm EDT Mon Mar 12, 2007
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T.J. Ford will try to help guide the Toronto Raptors to a third straight win Monday night when they visit his former team, the Milwaukee Bucks.

Ford scored nine of his 25 points in overtime Sunday in Toronto’s 120-119 home win over Seattle. He shot 11-for-15 from the field and added 13 assists for his 14th double-double of the season and first since he had 17 points and 11 assists in a loss at Detroit on Feb. 10.

“He played really well,” said Toronto’s Chris Bosh, who had 27 points and 10 rebounds on Sunday. “He was money going down the stretch. He showed no hesitation.”

The third-year point guard bounced back after scoring a combined 37 points on 13-for-40 shooting in his previous three games.

“I got down,” said Ford, who made three straight baskets and three of four free throws in overtime. “I wanted to play at a high level and I wasn’t.

“You just have to get back to believing in yourself and get back to the things that got you to this point.”

Sunday’s performance should give Ford some confidence to face his former team as the Raptors try to win three of four from the Bucks this season. Ford was traded from Milwaukee last June for Charlie Villanueva.

Ford is averaging 13.9 points and 7.7 assists this season after scoring 9.9 points per game and handing out 6.5 assists per contest in two seasons with Milwaukee.

The Raptors hold a five-game lead in the Atlantic Division as they appear primed to reach the postseason for the first time since 2001-02. They also have the fifth-best record in the conference.

Toronto won the first two meetings with Milwaukee (23-40) before a 94-81 loss on March 2. The Raptors posted their second-lowest point total of the season and shot just 36.8 percent—also their second-lowest mark of the year.

Bosh was limited to eight shots and had 14 points and 10 rebounds in the loss. The All-Star forward took 16 shots in each of Toronto’s two wins over Milwaukee, averaging 28.0 points on just under 72 percent shooting.

Milwaukee fell for the third time in four games despite a solid effort from Michael Redd on Saturday. Redd bounced back from two poor contests with 29 points, but Milwaukee fell 94-92 to Cleveland on Saturday.

Redd, who averages a team-high 27.1 points, scored a combined 25 points in his previous two games before bouncing back to make 12-of-25 shots. Redd, however, missed a short jumper to tie the game as time expired.

Milwaukee (23-40) also failed to hold a 12-point, fourth-quarter lead as Cleveland finished on a 25-11 run.

“That’s been our Achilles’ heel all year, finishing out games,” guard Mo Williams said. “We get down the stretch and we try not to lose the game instead of win the game.”

Andrew Bogut had 13 points and 12 rebounds in 39 minutes despite playing on a left ankle he twisted in a win over the Los Angeles Lakers on Wednesday. Bogut has played well against the Raptors this season, averaging 17.7 points and 12.0 rebounds in three games.

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Monday, Mar 12