for this game

Redd, Bucks heat up from outside, down Raptors

Jan 6, 2009 - 4:39 AM By Dave Cotey PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

MILWAUKEE (Ticker) -- Michael Redd and the Milwaukee Bucks overcame their lack of an inside presence with late clutch shooting.

Redd scored a season-high 35 points and Charlie Villanueva added 25 off the bench, including a key jumper in the fourth quarter, to lead the Bucks to a 107-97 victory over the Toronto Raptors on Monday.

Charlie Bell and Ramon Sessions scored 11 points apiece off the bench for the Bucks, who were playing without center Andrew Bogut for the second straight game because of back spasms. They still won for the seventh time in eight home games.

"This, for us, was a must-win," Redd said. "We had to get this win, and we did. It was a tough, tough win, but all that matters, really, was what happened down the stretch."

Chris Bosh had 31 points and 11 rebounds - his 18th double-double this season - and Andrea Bargnani scored 21 points for the Raptors, who had their modest two-game winning streak snapped.

"Trying to stop Chris Bosh - he's tough," Redd said. "It seemed like they went to him every play in the fourth quarter. He made plays, but we persevered and got key rebounds and Luke (Ridnour) made a huge three to win the game for us."

Villanueva broke a 97-97 tie with a jumper off an inbounds play with 1:17 remaining and, after Toronto's Will Solomon missed a jumper on the other end, Ridnour drained a 3-pointer to give the Bucks a 102-97 advantage with 34 seconds left.

"Our defense was huge at the end of the game," Villanueva said. "Toronto made a run at the end of the third quarter, and we were poised enough and got back into the game with stops.

"Obviously, guys hit big shots, but I've got to give credit to my teammates - they found me in the right positions."

The Bucks then scored the game's final five points as Toronto missed its last five shots and turned the ball over in its last six possessions. Solomon had two of those misses, both of which would have given his team a late lead.

"Those were open shots," Solomon said. "Those are shots I should have made. I practice them every day and I'm supposed to take them in the game."

Bosh's free throw with 3:56 left in the fourth quarter tied the score at 91-91. Jamario Moon and Solomon followed with back-to-back jumpers that pushed the Raptors ahead, 95-91, with 2:53 left.

Ridnour answered with a 3-pointer with the shot clock winding down and, after Bosh hit a pair of free throws, Bell made a three from the corner to tie the score, 97-97, with 1:55 remaining.

"We were able to hang around and the last five minutes, we were able to make some plays," Ridnour said.

Bosh was dominant throughout, making 12-of-14 shots while being guarded by unproven veterans Dan Gadzuric and Francisco Elson and rookie Luc Richard Mbah a Moute.

"He's back on track, and I think he's playing very well," Raptors coach Jay Triano said. "We have to find a way to get him the ball more, but you have to give (the Bucks) credit. Their pressure was good and they made Chris work for everything that he got."

After trailing by as many as 12 points in the first quarter, the Bucks forged a 71-71 tie on Villanueva's layup late in the third quarter, setting up the back-and-forth final period.

"We let them back in the game," Bosh said. "They shared the ball pretty well, and we didn't do a good job of keeping the (momentum) on our side. We gave them too many points."

The Raptors were without center Jermaine O'Neal for the fourth straight game because of a right knee contusion, and point guard Jose Calderon was inactive for the second straight contest with a strained right hamstring.