MILWAUKEE (AP)—Sam Mitchell’s game plan called for the guards to shoot. Jose Calderon executed it perfectly.
Calderon scored a career-high 25 points, including a huge 3-pointer late in the fourth quarter, and the Toronto Raptors won their third straight with a 91-87 victory over the Milwaukee Bucks on Saturday night.
“We told those guys, they are going to have to shoot the basketball tonight because they weren’t giving Chris (Bosh) and Jermaine (O’Neal) room down low to play,” Mitchell said. “I thought Chris and Jermaine did a great job of just getting rid of the basketball and let their teammates step up and make plays.”
On the first play of the game, Calderon had a wide-open 3, but passed. After that, if the shot was open, he took it.
“We all told him after he turned down that first shot, ‘You have to got to shoot the basketball,”’ Mitchell said.
Calderon was 8-of-15 from the floor, including 3-of-4 on 3-pointers and made all six free throws. He also added nine assists.
“I like to get everybody involved, but if they let me shoot, I can shoot the ball,” Calderon said. “I just try to play my game.”
All five Toronto starters scored in double figures.
Bosh had 20 points and 10 rebounds, Jamario Moon added 15 points, and O’Neal and Anthony Parker each had 11 as the Raptors spoiled new Bucks coach Scott Skiles’ home debut and gave Toronto a 3-0 start for the first time since 2004-05.
Michael Redd had 19 points but missed a shot from the corner in the closing seconds that could have tied the game.
Andrew Bogut had 14 points and nine rebounds, and Ramon Sessions added 12 points in his first game of the season. Richard Jefferson, acquired by Milwaukee for Bobby Simmons and Yi Jianlian in June, scored nine and continues to struggle offensively.
Milwaukee got Skiles his first victory Wednesday when the Bucks spoiled the Oklahoma City Thunder’s home debut with a 98-87 win.
Calderon has played well so far this season stepping in for former point guard T.J. Ford, who was traded to Indiana in an offseason deal that also brought O’Neal to Toronto. Calderon had 13 assists Friday night against Golden State, tying Steve Nash for the NBA season-high honors.
Toronto won consecutive road games to start a season for the first time since 1999-00.
Skiles put Mbah a Moute on Bosh during Toronto’s 12-0 run and the moved finally paid off in the fourth quarter.
“We put him on Bosh and he was able to do some things,” Skiles said. “He earned himself further looks, that’s for sure.”
Trailing 75-65, the Bucks went on 15-4 run with Mbah a Moute hounding Bosh while Bogut and Jefferson chipped away at Toronto’s lead.
Mbah a Moute’s hook over Bosh gave the Bucks an 85-84 lead, but Calderon took a pass from Bosh as the defense collapsed on him and hit a 3-pointer with 21 seconds left and Toronto went ahead 87-85.
“He knows me, I know him,” Calderon said of Bosh. “When he is going to get trapped or something, he is going to look for me. I was ready for that jumper like five seconds before I received the pass.”
F Joe Alexander, the Bucks’ top pick in the June 2008 NBA draft, has yet to see action. … Calderon’s previous career high was 24 set against Washington on Jan. 31, 2007.