The Toronto Raptors seemed to pull out all the stops for this game one, yet the Milwaukee Bucks fought through a cold shooting evening from 3-point land to snag a win, 108-100. Milwaukee came out freezing cold from beyond the arc in the first quarter, trailing 34-23. The Bucks righted the ship somewhat in the second, finding their way to a little more consistency but still heading into halftime down 59-51. Pascal Siakam nailed a buzzer-beating triple at the end of three to give Toronto an 83-76 advantage. The Milwaukee Bucks finally saw their 3-pointers start to fall in the fourth quarter, with Brook Lopez carrying the team to victory with a herculean effort.
Giannis Antetokounmpo finished with a prominent 24 points, 14 rebounds, six assists, two steals and three blocks, but never seemed like he got totally in rhythm against a Raptors defense that was content to pack the paint as he drove inside. It felt akin to the first Boston game in that regard, and it’ll be curious to see if he can “figure things out” going forward in this series to dominate on the level he did in the latter four games against the Celtics.
Brook Lopez was massive, breaking out of his slump in a huge way with 29 points and 11 rebounds including damage from inside and out. Khris Middleton played a quiet game, off the mark all evening at only 4-12 but still had 11 points to go along with 11 boards. Eric Bledsoe again looked passive in the first half of the game, but had an energetic transition attack to start the third and finished with nine points. Brogdon’s return brought a huge 15 points off the bench.
Kawhi Leonard looked like he had to effort for all his points, but he still managed to secure 31 points and nine boards with fine defensive work (10-26 shooting) by Brogdon and Middleton. Kyle Lowry broke out of his playoff and Bucks slump with a giant 30-point performance that kept Toronto in it and ahead most of the night. Pascal Siakam struggled to 6-20 shooting for 15 points.
Stat that Stood Out
Despite the Bucks going just 11-44 (25%) from deep, cold all evening before the fourth quarter, they still were able to pull out a massive victory to start the series off on the right foot. They took what sure seemed like the Raptors best punch, stayed standing and swing right back. What a game.