Chris Boucher scored a career-high 25 points and grabbed 11 rebounds to help the Toronto Raptors defeat the Milwaukee Bucks 114-106 on Monday.
Though the meeting featured the top two teams in the Eastern Conference standings, both teams were missing key players.
Milwaukee’s Giannis Antetokounmpo, the reigning MVP, missed the game after undergoing oral surgery. Bucks coach Mike Budehnolzer said Monday it was uncertain whether Antetokounmpo would play in the team’s final two seeding games Tuesday against the Washington Wizards and Thursday against the Memphis Grizzlies.
For Toronto, Kyle Lowry sat out with a sore lower back, Serge Ibaka missed the game with a bruised right knee and Fred Van Vleet was out with a hyperextended right knee.
WATCH | Thomas, Boucher lead Raptors past Bucks:
Boucher made the most of it.
“We knew some guys was going to be out, so obviously, there was an opportunity,” he said. “All year, that’s what I’ve been doing. Every time I get a chance to play 20, 25 minutes — everybody on this team is doing the same thing. Just being ready and when the opportunity is there — to play hard and show what you’re capable of doing.”
The Bucks already had clinched the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference for a second straight season, and defending NBA champion Toronto was locked into the No. 2 spot, so there was little to gain for either team.
Rookie Matt Thomas scored a season-high 22 points.
Raptors coach Nick Nurse said he was glad to see Boucher and Thomas and step up. Boucher averages 6.1 points per game and Thomas averages 4.3.
“The other guys want to play more than they’re playing, and it’s hard to find them room sometimes,” Nurse said. “It’s just a numbers game. I believe in both of them.”
Norman Powell added points 21 for the Raptors, who improved to 5-1 in the restart
Kyle Korver scored 19 points and Khris Middleton added 17 for the Bucks, who fell to 2-4 since the restart.