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This story was originally published on May 15, 2019.
The Milwaukee Bucks take a 1-0 series lead in the Eastern Conference Finals after a late fourth-quarter rally helped seal the 108-100 win over the Toronto Raptors.
Brook Lopez led the way with 29 points and 11 rebounds on 12-of-21 shooting, while Giannis Antetokounmpo added 24 points and 14 rebounds.
Kawhi Leonard scored 31 points for Toronto, while Kyle Lowry added 30, draining seven 3-pointers in his best performance of the postseason.
Here's four key takeaways from the game.
Bucks take over fourth quarter
Trailing 83-76 heading into the fourth quarter, the Bucks found an extra gear on their home floor, outscoring the Raptors 32-17 to seal the win.
The Bucks missed all 11 of their 3-point attempts in the third quarter but continued to let it fly in the fourth as they began to seize momentum, one triple at a time.
The connected on 5-of-10 3-pointers in the fourth, shooting 9-of-18 from the field, with Brook Lopez knocking down three triples himself, including two within the opening two minutes of the quarter to cut the lead to just one point.
Brook Lopez buries the triple to make it a 1-pt game 😳😳#FearTheDeer | #NBAPlayoffs pic.twitter.com/hT0topxd74- NBA on TNT (@NBAonTNT) May 16, 2019
However, it was their defence down the stretch that carried them as they swarmed the Raptors on the perimeter, forcing them into a ton of contested looks, while Lopez and Antetokounmpo held firm at the rim.
Coach Mike Budenholzer will take plenty of pride from Game 1 as the Bucks stuck to their game plan and fought through their early shooting struggles to snatch the W from the Raptors' grasp.
A big night for Lowry
It ultimately wasn't enough, but the Raptors enjoyed a big performance from Kyle Lowry.
Through the first two rounds, Toronto's All-Star point guard had made his presence felt in many ways, but struggled to get going as a scorer. Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals was a much different story.
Prior to this round, Lowry's postseason high was 22 points, scored in Game 2 of the first round after he was held scoreless in the postseason opener.
Lowry was markedly more aggressive to open the conference finals, making his presence felt early on by hitting back-to-back triples in the opening frame.
Kyle Lowry hits back-to-back threes!#WeTheNorth | #NBAPlayoffs pic.twitter.com/pQ39Y1QaBR- NBA Canada (@NBACanada) May 16, 2019
He would go on to finish the night with 30 points, shooting 10-for-15 from the field and 7-for-9 from beyond the arc to go along with eight rebounds.
Although it came in a losing effort, Lowry's aggression and offensive output should be a sign for encouragement moving forward in this series as his offence can open things up for the rest of the team.
Kawhi goes quiet down the stretch
Kawhi Leonard scored just two points in the fourth quarter of Game 1, going 0-of-3 from the field as the Raptors let their lead slip away.
Leonard struggled to generate many good looks down the stretch, with the Bucks' length and athleticism on defence stifling him at every turn.
Playing nearly 33 minutes through the first three quarters of the game, he came into the fourth with some heavy legs and after a tiring seven-game series against the Philadelphia 76ers, Raptors coach Nick Nurse has to find more rest for Leonard early in the game.
It wasn't just Kawhi, all Raptors not named Kyle Lowry combined to shoot 0-of-15 in the quarter, with Lowry scoring 14 of their 17 points.
Lopez's career night
Although the Bucks made light work of the Celtics in the conference semifinals, it wasn't the best series for Brook Lopez.
After averaging 12.5 points per game in the regular season and 12.0 points per game in the opening round of the postseason, Lopez averaged just 5.4 points per game while shooting 28.6% from the field and 22.2% from beyond the arc against Boston.
It was known beforehand that the 7-footer would need to step up in order for the Bucks to see success against the Raptors.
He stepped it up a number of notches in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals.
Lopez finished the night with a postseason career-high 29 points, shooting 12-for-21 from the field and 4-for-11 from beyond the arc. In addition to his scoring, the Bucks centre pulled down 11 rebounds (four offensive) and made his presence felt on the defensive end with four blocks.
If this performance sets the tone for Lopez in the series, the Bucks will be very scary.
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