Raptors get out to early lead, leave Bucks in dust

MILWAUKEE -- T.J. Ford insisted he wasn't looking to get even with his former team. Rather, he's just trying to get the Toronto Raptors ready for the playoffs.

Ford had 19 points and nine assists, just missing his second consecutive double-double, and Chris Bosh scored 26 points to lead the Raptors to a 108-93 victory over the Milwaukee Bucks on Monday night.

Ford, in his second game in Milwaukee since being traded in the offseason for Charlie Villanueva, had 12 points and six assists in the first quarter. He had 15 points and 10 assists in the Raptors' 90-77 victory in his first trip back on Jan. 10.

"They don't motivate me at all," Ford said of the Bucks. "What motivates me is what's in front of us and that's the playoffs."

Ford is averaging 13.9 points a game and 7.7 assists this season after averaging 9.9 points and 6.5 assists in two seasons with Milwaukee.

The Raptors currently lead the Atlantic Division with a 35-29 record and are in the fourth spot in the Eastern Conference playoff race.

"The attitude of everyone in this locker room now is we're playing like we're in the playoffs," Ford said.

Bosh also had nine rebounds and Andrea Bargnani added 12 points for Toronto.

Michael Redd scored 29 points and Charlie Bell had 25 for the Bucks. Villanueva did not score in 10 minutes, missing the only shot he took.

Milwaukee coach Terry Stotts said Ford set the tone in the first quarter and the Bucks were never able to recover.

"Any time you have six assists in a quarter, you are doing something right," Stotts said. "He is a very good NBA player. He really got in the lane and gave us a lot of trouble."

Mo Williams said his former teammate was playing "at another speed."

"He got them going and we just didn't match their effort," Williams said. "We played better in the second half, but it was too little, too late."

Milwaukee, which had its only lead at 2-0, closed to 95-87 on Bell's driving layup with 5:03 remaining. Bosh then hit a jumper and Anthony Parker hit 1 of 2 free throws to push the lead to 11 with 4 minutes remaining to put the game away.

Morris Peterson's 3-pointer from the corner gave the Raptors their biggest lead at 50-30 in the second quarter.

Bell scored eight points in each of the first two quarters to help the Bucks pull to 62-46 at halftime.

Bosh had 13 points and six rebounds in the first half as the Raptors shot 59 percent.

Toronto coach Sam Mitchell said he was pleased with his team's first-half play.

"We just moved the ball and shot very well," he said. "We played with a lot of confidence and really set the tone."

Stotts also blamed the loss on his team's 20 turnovers, which led to 25 points by the Raptors.

"The turnovers really fed their offense in the first quarter," he said. "Good teams don't turn the ball over that much."

Redd said he did not believe the Bucks were giving up despite the team's struggles this season.

"I hope not and I won't allow it," he said. "The focus has to be here every night of continuing to play professionally even though we're struggling right now."

The Bucks' Andrew Bogut was ejected from the game with 49 seconds remaining after a flagrant foul against Bosh.

Game notes
Toronto won three of the four meetings with the Bucks this season, the first time in franchise history that the Raptors won the season series. ... The loss gave the Bucks a 1-2 record on the current season-high seven-game homestand. ... Juan Dixon's 3-pointer with 4:30 remaining in the first quarter extended the Raptors' streak of consecutive games with at least one 3 made to an NBA-record 678. ... The last time the Raptors did not record a 3 was Feb. 24, 1999, against Indiana.