NBA Playoffs: Bucks vs Raptors Game One Recap

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Kyle Hoeppner and Alex Nannetti

In the first game of the NBA playoffs, the Milwaukee Bucks left the Toronto Raptors far behind in a 97-83 victory on Saturday, April 15, at the Air Canada Centre. This game was a key win for the Bucks, being an on the road matchup. This is the first time the Bucks have won a game one on the road of the playoffs since 1983.  

Arrowhead senior Chris Marmes says he was glad to see Milwaukee win in Toronto.

“Giannis [Antetokounmpo] was great. He was dunking all over Toronto,” Marmes said. “I’m thrilled they got the win being away.”

Among some of the points scored by the Bucks, Milwaukee’s star player Antetokounmpo scored 28 points and rookie of the year candidate Malcolm Brogdon had 16.

The Raptors have lost the opening game in eight consecutive playoff series.

Playing his second career playoff series, Antetokounmpo made 13 of 18 shots, and added eight rebounds and three assists.

Bucks players Greg Monroe had 14 points and 15 rebounds, Tony Snell scored 11, and Khris Middleton finished with 10 points and nine assists.

Toronto star DeMar DeRozan led his team with 27 points, and Raptors center Serge Ibaka had 19 points and 14 rebounds. Toronto recovered to win seven-game series against Indiana and Miami after losing game one openers in last year’s playoffs.

Toronto’s Kyle Lowry made only two of 11 field-goal attempts, missing all six 3-point efforts, and finished with four points. After shooting 3 for 13 in a game one loss to Miami in the second round last spring, Lowry stayed past midnight at the Air Canada Centre, shooting alone on the court, according to Ian Harrison of Associated Press. Lowry said Saturday’s poor night felt “like deja vu all over again.”

Antetokounmpo picked up his fourth foul with 4:33 left in the third and headed to the bench as Toronto’s P.J. Tucker was making two free throws to break a 64-all tie. Without Antetokounmpo, Milwaukee closed the quarter on an 11-5 run to take a 75-70 lead into the fourth.

Milwaukee kept it going after Antetokounmpo returned for the final quarter. The Bucks scored eight straight points, including four from Middleton, to make it 85-71 with 8:47 left.

Ibaka’s jump shot at 7:49 was Toronto’s first made field goal of the fourth. Toronto shot 7 for 35 in the second half, following up a 3 for 18 showing in the third by going 4 for 17 in the fourth. The Raptors went 27 for 75 overall.

Arrowhead senior and Bucks fan Logan Klink said he thought Toronto was not prepared.

“I thought the Raptors performed very poorly and the Bucks took full advantage,,” Klink said.

Many in the sellout crowd of 20,133 headed for the exits throughout the final quarter as the Bucks stretched their lead to a game-high 19 points.

Ibaka was the only Raptors starter to make a 3-pointer. Toronto finished 5 for 23 from long range, with the starting five going 1 for 13. No Raptors player made more than one 3-pointer.

The Bucks look to continue their momentum at Air Canada Centre on tonight for game two against the Raptors. Tip off is at 6:00 pm. You can watch the game on Fox Sports Wisconsin and NBA TV.