Bucks finish with a flourish, rally to top Raptors 108-100

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Milwaukee Bucks' Brook Lopez knocks the ball from Toronto Raptors' Kawhi Leonard during the second half of Game 1 of the NBA Eastern Conference basketball playoff finals on May 15, 2019, in Milwaukee. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)
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Brook Lopez #11 of the Milwaukee Bucks dunks the ball over Kyle Lowry #7 of the Toronto Raptors in the fourth quarter in Game One of the Eastern Conference Finals of the 2019 NBA Playoffs at the Fiserv Forum on May 15, 2019 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. (Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images/AFP)
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Toronto Raptors' Kawhi Leonard passes around Milwaukee Bucks' Giannis Antetokounmpo during the second half of Game 1 of the NBA Eastern Conference basketball playoff finals on May 15, 2019, in Milwaukee. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)
Updated 16 May 2019
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Bucks finish with a flourish, rally to top Raptors 108-100

  • Leonard became the 14th player in NBA history to score 400 points in his team’s first 13 games of a postseason run
  • Game 2 is Friday in Milwaukee

MILWAUKEE, US: Brook Lopez scored 13 of his 29 points in the fourth quarter, Giannis Antetokounmpo added 24 and the Milwaukee Bucks rallied in the final minutes to beat the Toronto Raptors 108-100 in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference finals on Wednesday night.
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 team that finished the regular season with the NBA’s best record — after trailing for the overwhelming majority of the game — did just enough in the final minutes to grab the series lead.
Malcolm Brogdon scored 15 and Nikola Mirotic had 13 for Milwaukee, which closed the game on a 10-0 run.
Kawhi Leonard scored 31 points and Kyle Lowry added 30 for the Raptors, who led by as many as 13 early and took an 83-76 lead into the final quarter.
Lopez added 11 rebounds for the Bucks, who had three players post double-doubles. Antetokounmpo had 14 rebounds and Khris Middleton finished with 11 points and 10 rebounds for Milwaukee, which is now 9-1 in this postseason.
The Bucks trailed for 37 of the game’s 48 minutes.
Didn’t matter. They stayed just close enough until they could finish with a serious kick. The Raptors missed their last eight shots and were outscored 32-17 in the fourth quarter.
Pascal Siakam scored 15 for Toronto, including a 3-pointer over Antetokounmpo to end the third quarter and give the Raptors a seven-point lead with 12 minutes left.
It unraveled quickly from there.
“Total team effort,” Lopez said.
With the chants of Milwaukee’s motto — “Fear the deer! Fear the deer!” — bouncing throughout the building, the Bucks predictably came out flying.
The flurry was brief.
The Bucks missed seven consecutive shots, the Raptors made four 3-pointers in a span of three minutes, and that all helped become a 16-0 run by Toronto that turned an early 8-3 deficit into a 19-8 edge. The lead got as big as 13 later in the quarter on a fadeaway jumper by Leonard, and the Raptors held the lead the rest of the half.
Milwaukee had a chance to take its first lead since the opening minutes when Antetokounmpo went to the line for a pair of free throws with 8:17 left in the third and the Bucks down by only one. He missed both and the Raptors peeled off the next nine points to rebuild what then was a 10-point lead again.
But Toronto shot 5 for 22 in the fourth, the Bucks finally reclaimed the lead, and the Raptors’ chance to steal home-court went awry.

TIP-INS
Raptors: Toronto is now 3-15 in Game 1s. ... The Raptors fell to 8-1 in these playoffs when leading at halftime. ... Lowry’s seven 3-pointers were a season high, a playoff career high and one off his career high. ... Leonard, who made the already-immortal four-bounce-off-the-rim jumper to win Game 7 of the second round against Philadelphia, got a friendly bounce in the third quarter — when a jumper hit the iron three times before falling.
Bucks: Oscar Robertson, part of Milwaukee’s lone NBA title team, was recognized in the first quarter and held the 1971 championship trophy — a large silver bowl atop a wooden base, not the golden Larry O’Brien Trophy of now — for the fans to see. ... Antetokounmpo started super-fast with two baskets, a steal, a rebound and a blocked shot, all in the first 85 seconds. ... Pearl Jam’s Jeff Ament was courtside.

EXPERIENCE
With Pau Gasol injured, George Hill is the only Milwaukee player who had appeared in a conference finals game before Wednesday. The Raptors have seven players who had been in at least one previously: Leonard, Danny Green and Serge Ibaka are all in this round for the fifth time, while Lowry, Marc Gasol, Norman Powell and Patrick McCaw have also been in this round before.


MR. 400
Leonard became the 14th player in NBA history to score 400 points in his team’s first 13 games of a postseason run.


UP NEXT
Game 2 is Friday in Milwaukee.


Warriors beat Trail Blazers in overtime to reach NBA Finals

Updated 21 May 2019
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Warriors beat Trail Blazers in overtime to reach NBA Finals

  • The two-time defending NBA champions reach the title series for a fifth consecutive season
  • The only other team to reach five straight NBA Finals was the Boston Celtics

LOS ANGELES: Stephen Curry and Draymond Green both posted triple-doubles to power the Golden State Warriors to a 119-117 overtime victory over the Portland Trail Blazers and into a fifth straight NBA Finals.
The two-time defending NBA champions reached the title series for a fifth consecutive season with the triumph in Portland, sweeping the Blazers in four games in the best-of-seven Western Conference finals.
The only other team to reach five straight NBA Finals was the Boston Celtics, when they went to a record 10 in a row from 1957 to 1966.
The Warriors will battle for the title starting on May 30 against either the Milwaukee Bucks or Toronto Raptors, aiming to become the first team since the Los Angeles Lakers of 2000, 2001 and 2002 to three-peat as champions.
Curry and Green became the first teammates in league history to have triple-doubles in the same post-season game, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.
Curry finished with 37 points, 13 rebounds and 11 assists, while Green had his second straight triple-double — posting double digits in three key statistical categories — with 18 points, 14 rebounds and 11 assists.
Fittingly, Curry and Green combined on the game-winning basket in overtime, Curry feeding Green for a three-pointer that pushed Golden State to a 119-115 lead with 39.6 seconds left in overtime.
The Trail Blazers had led 69-65 at halftime, and built the lead to 17 in the third quarter.
But Golden State, playing without injured superstar Kevin Durant as well as DeMarcus Cousins and veteran Andre Iguodala, chipped away, scoring the last nine points of the third period to close within 95-87 and knotting the score at 104-104 on Curry’s layup with 4:34 left in regulation.
Both teams had a chance to win in regulation, but Curry traveled before draining a three-pointer that didn’t count and Lillard was unable to get through in traffic as time expired with the score tied 111-111.
Portland star Lillard, playing with painful separated ribs, finished with 28 points while unheralded Meyers Leonard led the Trail Blazers with 30 points and 12 rebounds.
CJ McCollum added 26 for the Trail Blazers, but it wasn’t enough for a team that had fended off elimination twice in their second-round series against the Denver Nuggets.