RAPTORS AT BUCKS, 8:30 P.M. ET

TV: League Pass

  • With Philadelphia playing at Miami and the Bucks at home against the Raptors, Milwaukee has a chance to clinch the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. The Bucks’ magic number held at two Friday night with the 76ers’ victory at Atlanta and the Bucks’ loss at New York. “We just have to take care of what we can control, and that’s playing this game here tonight and staying in the moment and taking it possession by possession and doing what we need to do,” Bucks coach Jim Boylan said. “Whatever happens down in Miami, we have no control over that, so we’ll just try to take care of what we can take care of.”
  • Bucks forward/center Ekpe Udoh will miss the game with a sprained right ankle suffered in Friday’s 101-83 loss to the Knicks. There was a pair of crutches next to Udoh’s locker before the game, which can’t be a good sign. “I hope [it's] not too long,” Boylan said of the prognosis for Udoh, “We’ve got a couple of days after this game so hopefully he’ll be ready to go on the trip with us. [The crutches are] not a good sign. He’s a little sore, a little stiff.”
  • The Raptors have won their last two, a sign to coach Dwayne Casey that they’re keeping focus for the final two weeks with little at stake. “It’s very difficult,” Casey said. “Even if you’re in the playoff chase it’s a difficult time right now because you don’t see the playoffs. They’re not here yet, and unless you’re fighting for home court it’s a tough time. … Now is about pride, now is about professionalism, now is about being a part of an organization going forward. That’s what we’re doing. We’re evaluating, as I’m sure a lot of other organizations are doing. But this is one of the toughest times as far as getting guys at that high level and keeping them at that high level.”
  • The Bucks have won nine straight games against the Raptors. … The Bucks play their next four games on the road after tonight. … The Bucks have begun a campaign pushing center Larry Sanders for the Most Improved Player award. Sanders is averaging 9.9 points, 9.6 rebounds and 2.85 blocked shots per game.

Rick Braun

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