The Milwaukee Bucks, top seed of the Eastern Conference, surprisingly lost their opening game in the first playoff round against the Orlando Magic. In the 110: 122 bankruptcy against decimated Magic, the favorite did not find his usual strength over 48 minutes, even 31 points from Giannis Antetokounmpo (here it goes to his highlights) were not enough.
Milwaukee Bucks (1) – Orlando Magic (8) 110:122 (BOXSCORE), Serie: 0-1
The current (and probably upcoming) MVP sunk 12 of his 25 throws (3/7 3FG) and grabbed 17 rebounds, but did not make the right decision several times in the attack. In particular, his co-stars Khris Middleton (14, 4/12 FG) and Brook Lopez (5, 2/9 FG) disappointed across the board, while Eric Bledsoe contributed 15 points and George Hill 16 from the bench.
The Bucks showed unusual shortcomings at both ends of the field. With a defensive rating of 102.5, they were the lonely league leader in the regular season, against Orlando they allowed a three-way quota of 39 percent (16/41) and a field throw quota of almost 50 percent (44/89). Milwaukee won the season series 4-0.
The outstanding man on the side of Magic was Nikola Vucevic with 35 points (15/24 FG, 5/8 3FG) and 14 rebounds, but the supporting cast was also in a good mood. Five other players scored double digits, the best came off the bench in the person of Terrence Ross (18). DJ Augustin came up with a double-double (11 points, 11 assists), Evan Fournier scored all 9 points (3/7 3FG) in the fourth quarter and put these three three-pointers on top.
“We don’t care what others say. We just went out and played a great game at both ends of the field,” said Vucevic, while Giannis urged his team to take a different approach: “There’s no magic wand that changes anything We have to play harder, play together and have fun. “
While the Bucks were able to start with the best possible starting lineup from Bledsoe, Wesley Matthews, Middleton, Giannis and Lopez, the Magic’s hopes for a return of Aaron Gordon were not fulfilled. Michael Carter-Williams was also absent, with James Ennis (11 points) and Gary Clark (15) starting alongside Fournier, Markelle Fultz (15) and Vucevic.
Bucks don’t make a comeback – Vucevic towers over for Orlando
Although the Bucks started with five quick points (including a Giannis three-point), the big outsider from Orlando had no respect and countered with an impressive 18-2 run. The Bucks’ response in the form of a 9-0 run was not long in coming, fueled by the reservists. The Orlando offense knew how to please, Vucevic already had 12 points – 33:23.
The Bucks, who already complained about a lack of intensity in the Seeding Games (3-5), also had their trouble with the aggressive Magic afterwards. In the zone, Milwaukee revealed large gaps, offensively, many possessions were presented sloppily and ended with heavy throws. Orlando’s leadership grew to 18 points. Giannis (17 points in first half) conceded a Flagrant foul because he didn’t give Gary Clark a place to land after the three. At the break, the Magic were “only” in the front with 62:52.
The Bucks came out of the cabin with a different body language and had dropped to -3 in less than two minutes. Antetokounmpo always had a hand in the game. But: When everyone expected the game to finally tip over, the Magic countered impressively. Led by the very strong Vucevic (30 points after three quarters), the underdog’s lead had increased again to 13 points after 36 minutes, also because Milwaukee only hit a three in the third section (eight attempts).
Even a four-point game by Kyle Korver, which was cleared away with the elbow shortly afterwards and bleeding goodbye to the catacombs, could not give the Bucks wings for the time being. There were no open threesomes, the Magic always had an answer, Fournier’s threesome was back to +15 five minutes before the end, and a short time later he let two more follow. The Bucks, which were too weak that day, should not make a comeback.