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- Toronto forward Rudy Gay was limited Friday night with back spasms and is out tonight. Gay is averaging 20.5 points in 13 games with the Raptors since being acquired on Jan. 30 from the Memphis Grizzlies. Gay scored 21 points but was limited to 32 minutes Friday night, down about 10 minutes from his average in the previous three games. Since Gay is out, Casey expects others to play bigger roles. “It means somebody else has to step up — whether it’s Terrence (Ross) or Alan (Anderson) — in that situation. They’ve got to step up and give us productivity from that position.”
- The Bucks hold the eighth and final playoff spot in the East and are 6 1/2 games ahead of the Raptors — eight in the loss column. Casey knows that falling 7 1/2 behind and nine in the loss column would leave Toronto’s playoff hopes in critical condition with just 22 games left. “I say ‘big game,’ but every game for us is big,” Casey said. “I like to look at possessions and quarters. We’re not at a place in our process of building where we can pick one game and say for us, ‘That’s the game.’ Every game for us, every quarter, every possession — we’ve got to look at it as we can’t take a possession off. Because this team is ahead of us by some games, it puts a little more importance on it. But I don’t think it’s a make-or-break night for us. I think every night is a make-or-break night for us, if that makes sense.”
- The Bucks enter the game at 28-28 and arrived there by breaking even at both home and on the road. Coach Jim Boylan admits that 14-14 at home isn’t good enough. Boylan notes the home winning percentage across the league is generally between 60 to 70 percent. “Had we been able to do that this year, our record would be great,” Boylan said. “But we haven’t. So that’s the situation we’re in. But we still have a cluster of home games left, starting tonight, so we’ll see if we can maybe get a little momentum going.” The Bucks host Utah on Monday before going to the West Coast for games at the Los Angeles Clippers, Golden State and Sacramento.
– Rick Braun