VanVleet carries Raptors to victory over Bucks after Lowry leaves with injury

Fred VanVleet scored 33 points, Pascal Siakam added 23 and the Toronto Raptors withstood the loss of Kyle Lowry to beat the slumping Milwaukee Bucks 124-113 on Tuesday night.

Lowry exited with a sore left ankle in the third quarter but had 18 points, six rebounds and six assists in 22 minutes. The ankle problem caused Lowry to go to the locker room late in the first half, though he returned to start the third quarter.

Milwaukee lost its fourth straight despite getting 34 points, 10 rebounds and eight assists from Giannis Antetokounmpo. The Bucks hadn’t dropped four in a row since the 2019 Eastern Conference finals against Toronto, when they blew a 2-0 lead and lost the series in six games.

Antetokounmpo nearly recorded his second straight triple-double. The two-time reigning MVP had 24 points, 17 rebounds and 10 assists Sunday in a 114-109 loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder.

Siakam added 13 rebounds and six assists. VanVleet had a team-high seven assists.

WATCH | Raptors roll past Bucks for much-needed win:

Toronto beats Milwaukee 124-113, OG Anunoby records 13 points after missing 10 games with a calf injury. 1:01

The Bucks were playing the first of eight straight home games after ending a six-game road trip. This prolonged homestand also gives the Bucks the chance to play in front of spectators at Fiserv Forum for the first time this season.

Tuesday’s game featured only about 250 invited guests and family members of players in an arena that seats nearly 18,000. But the presence of any fans was welcome to the Bucks, who had seen how much of a difference even a small crowd can make when they played road games against teams that already were welcoming fans.

“Even though the numbers are relatively small, you’ve heard and you’ve felt it,” Bucks coach Mike Budenholzer said before the game.

But it couldn’t put the Bucks over the top.

WATCH | Lowry exits game with ankle injury:

Raptors’ Kyle Lowry falls awkwardly during the 1st half in a game against the Buck, leaves game with sore left ankle. 0:59

After a first half that featured 12 lead changes and ended in a 64-all tie, the Bucks never pulled ahead in the second half.

The Bucks trailed 112-103 and then scored six straight points before Donte DiVincenzo missed a potential tying corner 3-pointer with 5:08 remaining. The Raptors answered with seven straight points and stayed in front by at least six the rest of the way.

OG Anunoby returned to action after missing 10 games with a strained left calf and had 13 points and seven rebounds in 27 minutes. Chris Boucher scored 14 points and Norman Powell had 11.

Pat Connaughton had a season-high 20 points, Bobby Portis scored 16 and DiVincenzo finished with 12.