SPORTS

Williams scores 22 points; Raptors end homestand with 124-82 rout of Bucks

11/22/2014 04:55 EST | Updated 01/22/2015 05:59 EST
TORONTO - Late in the third quarter of the Raptors' rout of Milwaukee on Friday, fans began chanting: "We want Bruno!"

That's how massive Toronto's lead was.

Lou Williams scored 22 points and the Raptors scorched the Bucks 124-82 on Friday, in a game that was both a gigantic punctuation mark on their seven-game homestand, and made rookie Bruno Caboclo a star.

"It was great, the crowd go into it. That's definitely a memory he'll have forever," DeMar DeRozan said of the 19-year-old, and his NBA debut.

The Raptors' margin of victory tied their franchise best.

Kyle Lowry added 20 points, while Jonas Valanciunas had 18 points and 12 rebounds for the Eastern Conference-leading Raptors (10-2), who went 6-1 on their homestand.

But it was Caboclo who was swarmed by reporters in the post-game dressing room. Williams lifted up his phone to snap a picture of the media mob around the youngster. DeRozan teased him saying loudly: "You play one game and you get this?"

"Butterflies in my stomach," said the shy Brazilian, who's still learning English. "Everybody's saying my name. It's incredible."

He said he heard the fans when they starting chanting his name in the third quarter.

"I put my head down," he said. "It was pretty emotional."

"People love him," said fellow Brazilian Lucas Nogueira, who also made his NBA debut. "He's just like Justin Bieber."

After the game, Caboclo sent out two tweets — one in English and one in Portuguese — thanking fans in both Canada and Brazil.

"Thanks all the fans tonite for their support. You're all really special. #WeTheNorth," Caboclo wrote.

The Raptors pulled away virtually from the opening whistle, and had topped their franchise-best lead (43 points) when they went up by 45 late in the third quarter.

The capacity crowd of 19,800 Air Canada Centre fans were rewarded for their chants when Caboclo checked into the game to start the fourth. And the six-foot-nine rookie — known for his almost freakish seven-foot-six wingspan — had the fans flying out of their seats when Williams found him for an alley-oop dunk for his first NBA points.

The rookie followed it up with a three-pointer on Toronto's next possession on an entertaining night of basketball. His second three with 6:01 left in the game put the Raptors up by a whopping 52 points, and by the game's final few minutes, the ACC crowd was chanting "Let's go Bru-no!"

"This game, I feel not comfortable," said Caboclo, who finished with eight points. "I try but it's different than the pre-season. So different."

The game ended 124-83, but the NBA corrected the score Saturday, after reviewing a late field goal. The NBA said, in a release, that Bucks forward John Henson was incorrectly credited with a three-point field goal when he made a jump shot in the lane with 1:44 remaining in the fourth quarter.

The margin of victory tied the previous high of 42 points in a 96-54 win over Miami on March 19, 2008.

Terrence Ross finished with 13 points Saturday, and Greivis Vasquez scored 11.

Jabari Parker had 15 points to top the Bucks, who were coming off a 122-118 triple overtime win over Brooklyn two nights earlier.

"I take full responsibility. I thing the big thing is we got off to a slow start and just couldn't catch up," said Bucks coach Jason Kidd.

Raptors coach Dwane Casey had cautioned his players not to look ahead past Milwaukee to Saturday's tough matchup against LeBron James and the Cavaliers in Cleveland.

"If we don't come out to take care of business, they can embarrass you, and just spank you like you stole something," Casey said before tip-off.

In the end, all the embarrassment belonged to the Bucks.

"I thought our mental focus was great," Casey said. "Nobody in that locker-room was even talking about (Saturday) night. If we're going to be an elite team, or grow to be an elite team in this league, we have to make sure to take care of business and take care of what's in front of us."

The coach also had kind words for his young rookie, who was the surprise pick of the NBA draft when he was taken 20th overall.

"I thought it was special," Casey said on the fans' reaction. "He's a beautiful kid. Like any other kid, he's learning and growing in the NBA. As a coach, I see him growing everyday and know what he needs to work on. It's great for him.

"That’s why as coaches we're pushing to dress 15. If he wasn't in uniform tonight, he wouldn't have gotten that opportunity."

The Raptors shot 52 per cent on the night, and hit 15 of their 25 shots from three-point range. They outrebounded the Bucks 57-30.

Valanciunas had 12 points in the first quarter including the floater midway through the frame that put the Raptors up by 17 points. The Bucks fought back to within seven, but a three by Williams at the buzzer put Toronto up by 10 heading into the second.

Williams was the high scorer with 11 points in a second quarter that saw Toronto top the Bucks 34-18. Williams hit yet another three at the buzzer to send the Raptors into the dressing room with a 71-45 advantage.

The Raptors showed no mercy in the third, holding the Bucks to just 12 points and passing their franchise-best lead of 43 points late in the quarter, to go into the fourth up by 45.

NOTES: The Raptors were missing James Johnson (ankle) and Tyler Hansbrough (shoulder). . . Cincinnati Reds first baseman Joey Votto of Toronto and former Blue Jays outfielder Vernon Wells were at the game. . . Toronto swept all four meetings with Milwaukee last season.

Note to readers: This is a corrected story. A previous version had original score prior to an NBA official scoring change.

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