Milwaukee Bucks 108 – 100 Toronto Raptors
(MIL leads 1-0)
The Bucks looked like they were in trouble until the fourth quarter rolled around. Milwaukee were able to find their stride just in time to finish with a 108 – 100 win over the Raptors.
Brook Lopez scored 13 of his career playoff-high 29 points in the fourth quarter, Giannis Antetokounmpo added 24 points and the Bucks closed the game on a 10-0 run to beat the Toronto Raptors 108-100 in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference finals on Wednesday night.
Milwaukee forced Toronto to miss its final eight shots and outscored the Raptors 32-17 in the fourth.
”I think it speaks a little bit to the character of the group,” Bucks coach Mike Budenholzer said. ”They just stick with it. I think it’s become a little bit of a theme in the playoffs: I think eventually, hopefully, we feel like if we stick with what we’re doing good things will happen for us.”
Lopez had a dunk with 2:20 left to put the Bucks ahead for good, added a 3-pointer on the next Milwaukee possession to push the lead to four and the Bucks – after trailing for the overwhelming majority of the game – did just enough in the final minutes to grab the series lead.
”I think this game definitely made us better,” Antetokounmpo said.
As for the Raptors, their late-game execution wasn’t great but it wasn’t horrible. Kawhi Leonard’s two free throws put Toronto ahead 100-98 with 3:31 left in the fourth quarter, but the Raptors never scored again, going 0-for-8 from the field, including misfires on five 3-pointers.
“Obviously, it was a missed opportunity,” Raptors reserve guard Fred VanVleet said. “We’re not running from that. But flush it. You can’t sulk on it. You can’t sit on it and think about it tonight. We’ll look at the film, practice tomorrow and move on. We felt like we had a chance, and we didn’t execute enough to go out there and get it done. Move on and try to get Game 2.”