The Milwaukee Bucks fought their way to a tough Game 1 win. What are three keys for Game 2 against the Toronto Raptors on Friday night?
The Milwaukee Bucks got punked in Game 1 of their semifinal showdown with the Boston Celtics, coming back to win the next four and advance. They looked to be in a similar situation Wednesday nights as the Toronto Raptors leapt out to a double-digit lead they maintained for the first three quarters.
Then Brook Lopez happened, exploding on both ends in the fourth quarter as the Bucks closed the gap and then pulled away in the final minutes. Lopez scored a playoff career-high 29 points, collected his most rebounds in two years and made a number of incredible plays to close out the game. “Splash Mountain” came to play.
Analysis of the game seems to suggest that the Toronto Raptors “had to win” Wednesday night, that a game where the Bucks struggled from the field and Kyle Lowry went off for 30 points was a one they couldn’t let slip away. Obviously the Raptors would’ve rather won Game 1.
Yet a win in the first game of a series does not decide anything, as Portland, Toronto and Milwaukee themselves can attest in this postseason alone. The Bucks know they cannot relax in any way, but instead must focus on how to win Game 2 and retain home-court advantage in what looks like a difficult, evenly-matched series.