The Milwaukee Bucks did just about everything in Saturday night’s playoff opener, stunning the home crowd in a 97-83 win over the Toronto Raptors.
Milwaukee got off to a hot start, leading 30-22 after one, but the Raptors would outscore the Bucks 29-16 in the second en route to a five-point halftime lead. This would turn out to be the high point of the game for Toronto, as Milwaukee absolutely shut down the Raptors offense in the second half, holding them to a mere 32 points (13 in the 4th quarter).
DeMar DeRozan and Serge Ibaka were the only real bright spots for Toronto. The two set the tone for the Raptors early on but were unable to keep the lead going in the second half. DeRozan and Ibaka combined for 46 of the Raptors’ 83 points but DeRozan shot an abysmal 7/21 from the field overall.
Kyle Lowry was the weakest link for Toronto, scoring only four points in 34 minutes and finishing with a team-worst minus-22. The Raptors may be in trouble if Lowry is unable to find a groove in the upcoming games.
Giannis Antetokounmpo continued his breakout season with a monster stat line of 28 points, eight rebounds, three assists, two steals and one block. He played a team-high 38 minutes and was the focal point to Milwaukee’s success.
Khris Middleton went just 4/15 from the field but added nine assists in his team-high plus-27. Even though his shot wasn’t falling, he was still able to contribute on both ends of the floor.
Malcolm Brogdon added 16 points including four three-pointers, and Greg Monroe pitched in a double double of 14 points and 15 rebounds in his first career playoff game.
Although Thon Maker only added four points in 15 minutes, his energy was felt on and off the floor. Maker played lights out defense as well, rejecting three crucial shots during Toronto’s attempt at a comeback.
Milwaukee will look to take a 2-0 series lead Tuesday night in Toronto.
Game 1 (4/15): Milwaukee 97, Toronto 83
Game 2 (4/18): Milwaukee @ Toronto, 6 PM CT, NBA TV
Game 3 (4/20): Toronto @ Milwaukee, 7 PM CT, NBA TV
Game 4 (4/22): Toronto @ Milwaukee, 2 PM CT, TNT
Game 5 (4/24, if nec.): Milwaukee @ Toronto, 6 PM CT, NBA TV
Game 6 (4/27, if nec.): Toronto @ Milwaukee, TBA, TBA
Game 7 (4/29, if nec.): Milwaukee @ Toronto, TBA, TNT