Bucks 98, Raptors 86

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MILWAUKEE (AP)—Vince Carter’s return from injury was not a happy one. Michael Redd made sure of it.

Redd helped hold the NBA’s leading All-Star vote-getter to eight points on 4-of-12 shooting as the Milwaukee Bucks rolled past the slumping Toronto Raptors 98-86 Friday night.

“We just didn’t give the effort tonight,” said Carter, who had missed Toronto’s previous three games, all losses, with a right quadriceps strain.

Carter was visibly upset in the locker room after the game as the Raptors (20-21) fell below .500 for the first time since November.

“We have to play harder and want the game more,” he said.

Reserve guard Desmond Mason had 20 points to lead Milwaukee (24-19), which moved to five games above .500, matching a season high.

Redd, coming off a career-high 40 points against Orlando on Wednesday, had just 10 points but played solid defense on Carter much of the night. Carter scored two points in 19 first-half minutes on 1-of-6 shooting.

Redd led a similarly good defensive effort against Tracy McGrady on Wednesday, holding the Orlando Magic star to 20 points in a Bucks victory.

“I want to be an all-around player,” Redd said. “I don’t want to be one-dimensional, just a scorer, an offensive killer. I want to try to be a defensive stopper at the same time. I take pride in my defense. I don’t want to be scored on. I hate being scored on.”

Carter said his leg felt good despite tweaking it once in the first half. He wore a full-length leg brace.

“It was just a matter of finding my legs and remembering the things I did last time that I hurt it,” he said.

Brian Skinner added 16 points and nine rebounds for the Bucks, who have won 12 of their last 13 at home. Their 10-game winning streak at the Bradley Center was snapped by Detroit last Saturday.

Milwaukee never trailed after the first quarter.

Toronto got no closer than within six in the fourth and fell behind 90-76 on Mason’s high-flying dunk over Lamond Murray with about 4:30 to play.

“It was fun,” Mason said. “It was just fun getting into the open court and getting some lobs and getting some fast-break points. I don’t think we’ve been doing that the last few games. Tonight we kind of turned it up a little bit.”

Donyell Marshall led Toronto with 17 points. Jalen Rose had 15 for the Raptors, and Chris Bosh added 14.

Joe Smith had 13 points and 14 rebounds for Milwaukee, which outrebounded Toronto 46-28.

Milwaukee took control in the second quarter after missing five of its first six shots and falling behind 10-2 four minutes into the game.

Toronto scored just 10 points the rest of the period as Milwaukee used a 25-10 run to go up 27-20 early in the second quarter. Skinner had 10 points during the spurt.

The Bucks went up 41-31 when Damon Jones fed Mason on a fast break for a running, one-handed dunk.

Milwaukee used a 10-0 run to go up 49-41 at halftime and 53-41 early in the second half. Mason had 13 points in the first half, his season average.

Milwaukee’s Toni Kukoc had 13 points and six assists.

Carter had eight assists.

“We need everyone to play well, and the last four games that hasn’thappened,” Rose said. “We just didn’t play with much enthusiasm tonight.”

Notes

Carter entered 11th in the NBA in scoring at 21.3 points per game. … Bucks backup point guard Erick Strickland missed the game with a left groin strain. He had averaged 12.5 points in his last two games. … The crowd wasmuch smaller than the announced 15,813 because of an afternoon snowstorm.

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Top Performers

 Top Performers
 Toronto
J. Rose J. Rose
6-16,  15 Pts
1 Rebs, 6 Assists
 Milwaukee
J. Smith J. Smith
5-9,  13 Pts
14 Rebs, 1 Assists

Team Stat Leaders

Points
Rebounds
Assists