TORONTO (AP)—Vince Carter refused to blame trade rumors for Toronto’s latest embarrassing loss.
Carter had 15 points for the Raptors, who scored fewer than 70 points for the fourth time this season. Toronto scored less than 70 just four times in their history before this season.
“We did not come ready to play, even guys not involved in trade rumors. Myself included,” Carter said. “That has nothing to do with it. We could come out and win by 20 and everyone would say ‘Oh, they aren’t even worried about it.”’
Toronto GM Glen Grunwald said Sunday he’s been more active making calls about trades, but doesn’t appear to be close to making a deal with Chicago.
“It’s unfortunate that things get ahead of themselves like they have here,” Grunwald said.
Kukoc had five points as Milwaukee went on a 11-0 run in the second quarter to take a 31-21 lead. The Raptors didn’t get closer than eight the rest of the way.
“Maybe the trade rumors are hurting that team right now,” Kukoc said. “It’s not good when you have that feeling and you’re still playing the game.”
Thomas’ 3-pointer just before the end of the third quarter gave Milwaukee a 66-48 lead.
Kukoc followed with two layups early in the fourth, and Smith and Damon Jones made jumpers, giving Milwaukee a 74-52 lead with 7:16 left.
The Raptors shot 34 percent, compared to 43 for the Bucks. Milwaukee outrebounded Toronto 45-39.
Toronto committed 18 turnovers.
“There are times when they become one-dimensional with just Vince,” Milwaukee coach Terry Porter said. “Michael Redd, Tim Thomas and Desmond Mason did a great job on him.”
Milwaukee point guard T.J. Ford, the eighth overall pick in the draft, had eight points and six assists.
Toronto’s Chris Bosh, the fourth pick, had 13 points, six rebounds and twoblocks.
Toronto’s 62 points were the third lowest this season and the third lowest in franchise history. … Milwaukee’s Erick Strickland did not playbecause of bruised left thigh.