Charlie Villanueva had 26 points and 13 rebounds, Richard Jefferson added 17 points and the Bucks beat the Raptors 96-85 Friday night, their first win since leading scorer Redd suffered a season-ending knee injury.
"We're in the eighth spot right now and Toronto is right behind us so we knew going in that we desperately needed this one," Villanueva said. "We just tried to come out and play our best defense and it came through for us."
Redd blew out his knee last Saturday and the Bucks lost their next two games without their high-scoring guard and their center, Andrew Bogut.
Bogut returned to the lineup against the Raptors after missing eight games with back spasms and scored 13 points. Luke Ridnour added 15 points for Milwaukee.
"The key to the game was our defense in the last three quarters," Bogut said. "We gave them 30 in the first and then [to allow only] 55 in the last three quarters is a real good defensive effort. We're not going to score 100 or 115, especially with Michael Redd out, and we all know that. We lifted up our defense and we did it tonight."
Villanueva topped 20 points for the 10th time in 17 January games.
"This is typical of the way he's been playing," Bucks coach Scott Skiles said. "He's been scoring, rebounding the ball. He's been on the perimeter scoring, he's been scoring some in the paint. He's been a very valuable player for us."
Skiles encouraged his team to build on Friday's performance when they return home to host Atlanta on Saturday night.
"It's a big win, but it's only a big win if we come out and do something again [Saturday] night," Skiles said. "Then you win another one and another one and you look back and say 'Boy that win against so-and-so was a big.' We're glad to have it, of course, but it's time to start stringing some wins together."
Toronto had won three straight coming in, but failed to record its first four-game winning streak since Dec. 9-14 of last season.
Trailing by two points at the half, the Raptors fell apart with a dreadful 5-for-20 shooting performance in the third, getting outscored 21-12 as the Bucks took a 70-59 edge into the fourth.
"I give them credit because they outworked us," Toronto coach Jay Triano said. "We told our guys we can't be outworked and we were. They're a good defensive team, they locked our guys up. Jose Calderon couldn't shake their defense and [Bosh] couldn't shake their defense. We got behind and that was it."
Milwaukee pushed its lead to 18 in the fourth before Toronto clawed back. Bargnani made a 3-pointer, Calderon stripped Ridnour at midcourt and converted a layup and O'Neal added a basket as the Raptors cut it to 86-78, with 3:59 left.
But Bogut stopped the run with a slam and Ridnour made a jumper to keep the Bucks safe.
O'Neal was ejected with 2:04 remaining after picking up his second technical. O'Neal, who got his first for arguing a call earlier in the fourth, received his second for an angry exchange of words with Villanueva, who objected to O'Neal's hard hit on Jefferson.
"I think there was unnecessary contact there," Villanueva said. "I'm going to have my teammate's back, no matter what."
A 12-year veteran, O'Neal sarcastically suggested the younger Villanueva be more careful about who he chooses to tangle with in the future.
"You can be tough when the camera is on and the ref controls the game but at the end of the day he just doesn't weigh enough to speak to me any kind of way," O'Neal said.
After coming off the bench to replace Francisco Elson at 6:30 of the first, Bogut scored a layup on his first shot, converted a three-point play on the next possession and had seven points in his first two minutes.
"The basket looked a little bit bigger after I hit those first three and I had my confidence under me," Bogut said. "It's always great to come back from injury and have a start like that."
Calderon's streak of consecutive free throws ended at 87 after he missed his second attempt in the fourth. It's the second-longest streak in NBA history behind Minnesota's Micheal Williams, who made 97 straight in 1993.
The Bucks are 6-11 without Redd this season. ... Bosh and Triano also got technical fouls. ... Ridnour started for Milwaukee two days after leaving in the fourth quarter of a loss at Indiana with a concussion. ... Blue Jays pitcher Jesse Litsch attended the game, as did actor Don Diamont.
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