The Milwaukee Bucks missed a chance to establish themselves as the top team in the Eastern Conference and had a five-game winning streak come to an end with a 123-116 home loss to the Toronto Raptors on Saturday. The Bucks will try to finish off a six-game homestand strong when they host the Utah Jazz on Monday.
Milwaukee took the first four games of its homestand by an average of 21.3 points and held a double-digit lead in the first half against Toronto before falling. "I think we match up really well with them," Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo told reporters. "Obviously there's a chance for us to see them in the future in the playoffs. It's too far right now to talk about it. I don't think as a team we are a bit scared about the Raptors. They're obviously a really good team, but I think we match up really well with them. It was just a bad game for us tonight." The Jazz fell at Toronto to begin their four-game road trip but followed that with wins over Cleveland and Detroit to reach .500. Utah fell behind early against the Pistons on Saturday but turned up the defense and forced 14 turnovers in the second half to earn a 110-105 victory.
TV: 8 p.m. ET, AT&T SportsNet Rocky Mountain (Utah), FS Wisconsin (Milwaukee) LINE: Bucks -5.5
ABOUT THE JAZZ (20-20): Shooting guard Donovan Mitchell scored 24 of his 26 points in the second half on Saturday, sparked by a heckling fan near the bench. "I just became more aggressive," Mitchell told reporters. "I stopped listening to the guy in the corner. He said something to me, and it really just snapped for me. I don't know what it was, and it shouldn't take somebody to say something to me for me to play how I did, but that's what happened." Mitchell, who added five assists and three steals at Detroit, snapped a string of three straight games scoring under 20 points.
ABOUT THE BUCKS (27-11): Antetokounmpo scored 43 points on 16-of-25 shooting and added 18 rebounds on Saturday while matching Toronto's physical play. "You know it's going to be a physical game before the game starts," Antetokounmpo told reporters. "Top two teams in the NBA going at it, they're not going to call fouls. You've got to know in the back of your head it's going to be physical. You've just got to play through it and not complain and hopefully, at the end of the day, you can get the benefit of the doubt." Antetokounmpo went 8-of-11 from the free-throw line in the loss and is shooting 69.6 percent from the stripe.
1. Bucks SF Khris Middleton handed out a season-high nine assists on Saturday.
2. Utah SF Thabo Sefolosha (hamstring) left Saturday's game and is day-to-day.
3. Milwaukee snapped a seven-game losing streak in the series with a 117-100 home win in the last meeting on Dec. 9, 2017.
PREDICTION: Bucks 111, Jazz 103 Bet Now
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